Toi Māori is the foundation of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
Our very first tauira trained in the disciplines of Whakairo, Raranga and Kōwhaiwhai. Under the guidance of master carvers, weavers and artists, they helped to build a beautiful marae with the skills they had developed.
2022 Toi exhibitions
Take in the creativity and excellence of toi Māori and see how the traditions and techniques of our ancestors are used to tell the stories of today. Featuring artwork from the students, graduates, and tutors of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
What is Toi Māori
Māori and indigenous art is experiencing a surge of interest worldwide. Many recognise and appreciate the connections and stories told of unique cultures, their people and of the land.
Our kaiako and tauira feel strongly connected to the visual language of their tūpuna, producing beautiful mahi toi that speak to their own time, their own places of belonging and the future of the artforms.
Toi exhibitions are an exciting opportunity for our tauira to showcase their artwork and for the public to see what is being created by up-and coming artists.
Some of our toi exhibitions provide you with the opportunity to buy artworks at a very reasonable price.
Jennifer Dickerson, a self-proclaimed "Third Culture Kid" due to her unique upbringing around the world, has discovered who she is through art.
Marewa Severne embodies the very essence of what it means to be wāhine Māori. She brings this integrity and strength to her teaching, with a ready smile, positivity, and a willingness to elevate mātauranga Māori in her life and her work.
A desire to share knowledge on marae up the coast resulted in the first exhibition at Rāhui Marae for Talei Teariki’s Level 4 and 5 Raranga tauira recently. Titled ‘Waiapu’, the exhibition featured weavers from Rangitukia, Ruatōrea, Waipiro, Tikitiki, Te Araroa, Hicks Bay and Te Karaka.
The seed of Kahu Collective was planted back in 2013, when Lisa Harding, Cathy Payne and Corabelle Summerton crossed paths with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa’s stall at the Womens Expo, showcasing our Toi programmes.
Karen Nel ventured onto the Toi Maruata course in Porirua to explore indigenous arts in this part of the world and found out more about herself in the process.
Wendy-Lee McKee-Warner’s love for art started at high school, where she spent all her time hanging out in the art room.
When Raranga kaiako Laurette Madden-Morehu recieved a kete as a seven-year old at a whānau reunion, it ignited a lifelong curiosity of mahi raranga.
Alex Heperi spends her days working as a senior architectural graduate, working in the architectural industry but by night she’s completing her studies towards the Maunga Kura Toi Bachelor of Māori Art degree at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
A single mum who dropped out of high school and never thought higher education was for her has not only completed a degree in Māori art but is now preparing for her first solo exhibition in Kirikiriroa.
Cydne Price has a message for anyone studying Toi Māori: don’t focus on the little things, it’s better to look at the bigger picture.
Maraea Peawini was eight years old when she sat intently watching her nanny weave a kete. That experience for Maraea (Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi, Pākehā) planted a seed to learn more about the intricate art of raranga (weaving).
Tauranga kindergarten teacher Toia Palmer plans to use her own teaching experiences and qualifications gained at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to support other early childhood teachers to grow their understanding and application of kaupapa Māori.
Erin says she always held a longing for Toi-Māori – and a fascination for the art of raranga (weaving) - and the amazing things that could be made from harakeke (flax) and the refined, silky product within it, muka.
Nephi Tupaea won the Supreme Award for costume design at Auckland’s Pasifika Festival in the early 90s and is now back in Heretaunga studying towards a Diploma in Indigenous and Māori Art at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.