Mau Rākau - Māori Martial Arts

Kāwai Raupapa - Certificate in Māori and Indigenous Art

  • Level 4
  • 38 weeks - full-time
  • No fees

Programme overview:

Mau Rākau is a traditional Māori martial art and this unique programme gives you the opportunity to learn the ancestral practices, values and protocols of the warrior.

You'll learn about Māori culture and traditions, gain new skills and get fit. Have fun in an inclusive learning environment while you develop a specialised skill set, and help to preserve the rich culture and art of the warrior.

When you pass this programme, you'll have this qualification:

  • New Zealand Certificate in Ngā Toi Level 4 (Mau Rākau)

You'll learn about:

  • Māori weaponry
  • sport, games and training exercises of the toa
  • whakapapa (genealogy) and pepeha
  • karakia 
  • Māori weaponry strikes 
  • knowledge, tikanga and values of the toa 
  • stances, positions, strikes, body movements, facial expressions, blocks, counters and engagement  

You'll be able to:

  • select and apply creative processes, methods, and techniques to create solutions for familiar problems in area of specialty
  • compare the processes of others’ and explore artistic evolution and variation, to inform own art form practice in an area of specialty
  • create and complete Ngā Toi projects, under broad guidance and in accordance with project briefs, in area of specialty
  • manage project briefs, under broad guidance, to produce Ngā Toi work


This qualification is intended for people seeking to develop broad operational and theoretical knowledge consistent with tikanga and reo in Mau Rākau.

Graduates of this qualification will contribute to New Zealand as practitioners; by applying a broad range of skills and knowledge relevant to one of the Ngā Toi art forms. Graduates will have a further developed set of fundamental knowledge and skills, and be able to operate under broad guidance.

How you'll study:

This is a full-time programme that consists of 120 credits delivered over 38 weeks. Some of our locations offer different delivery modes. These will be confirmed by your local campus and might include:

Option 1 Face-to-face delivery

  • kura whakaako - compulsory tutorials (10 hours per week)
  • 9 x 1-day wānanga (10 hours per wānanga)

You'll need to also complete learning activities designed to enhance your learning for approximately:

  • 21 hours per week

Option 2 Noho delivery

  • 10 x noho marae (25 hours per noho)
  • kura whakaako - compulsory tutorials (5 hours per week)
  • 2 x 1-day wānanga (10 hours per wānanga)

Activity directed learning will also need to be completed outside of class time, amounting to:

  • approximately 21 hours per week

Some of the learning activities will need to be completed online. You'll need to have access to an internet connected device for this programme.

Entry criteria:

To enrol in this programme, a potential student must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident
  • reside in New Zealand
  • attend an interview and selection process to demonstrate suitability to the programme

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

Apply to enrol on Toi Paematua - Diploma in Māori and Indigenous Art, to advance your skill set and knowledge in Mau Rākau.

I want to use my qualification

With skills at this level you can share what you know with your whānau, hapū and iwi. Teach classes on your marae, in the community or at schools and kura.

Kōnae Ako (Learning Modules):

Toi Awe - Creative Process | 10 Credits

Apply solutions to creative processes to produce Kaupapa Toi creative work.

Toi Iro - Exploration | 15 Credits

Compare the work of others to identify artistic variation and evolution.

Toi Raupapa - Organisation | 15 Credits

Manage project briefs to produce creative work in a chosen Kaupapa Toi (area of specialty).

Toi Hanga - Creation | 80 Credits

Create and complete creative work in a chosen Kaupapa Toi.

Enrol Now

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