Whakairo - Carving

Maunga Kura Toi - Bachelor of Māori Art

  • Level 7
  • 3 years
  • Fees apply

Programme overview:

The art of the carver was and still is something to be revered and sought after.

Our degree, Maunga Kura Toi, was designed to keep the traditional skills relating to Māori arts alive and available to those who seek to become a kaitiaki of the ancient Māori art of whakairo.

Each kōnae ako (module) focuses on enhancing your skills and knowledge in the design and creative processes, creative expression, art techniques, and project management. As well as completing different whakairo projects you’ll use research and analysis, self-reflection and journaling to explore and understand your creative practice.

Te reo Māori and tikanga are woven into the kōnae ako enabling you to extend your knowledge and understanding, and how they apply to the art of whakairo.

Imagine the satisfaction you'll feel standing next to tekoteko or poupou you've carved. Follow in the footsteps of your tūpuna, and learn how whakairo can enrich your life and the life of your whānau. Become a kaitiaki of the art of whakairo.

When you pass this degree, you'll get this qualification:

  • Maunga Kura Toi - Bachelor of Māori Art Level 7 (Whakairo)

You'll learn about:

  • the principles of whakairo design 
  • maintaining your carving tools 
  • articulating the meaning of your work 
  • explaining your creative processes research, writing and presentation skills along with academic conventions 
  • reflective practice, how to analyse, critique and synthesise.

Where will this take me?

I want to keep studying

You might be eligible to apply to enrol in our master's programme, He Waka Hiringa - Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge or other graduate and postgraduate programmes.

I want to use my qualification

You'll be well equipped to be a practising carver or to work in:

  • gallery and exhibition work - exhibition design, curatorial work, front of house
  • teaching and arts facilitation
  • community-based practitioner - work with whānau, hapū, iwi and hapori.

How you'll study:

This is a full-time programme that consists of 120 credits per year, for 3 years. Some of our locations offer different delivery modes. These will be confirmed by your local campus and might include:

Year 1*

Option 1 (Face-to-face delivery)

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

You'll also need to complete learning activities designed to enhance your learning for approximately 22 hours per week.


Option 2 (Noho delivery)

  • 1 x kura whakaako - compulsory tutorials (4 hours per week)
  • 1 x 1-day wānanga (10 hours)
  • 10 x noho marae (25 hours per noho)

You'll also need to complete learning activities designed to enhance your learning for approximately 22 hours per week. As some of the learning activities will need to be completed online, you'll need to have access to an internet connected device.

*Year 2 and 3 commitment requirements will be discussed towards the completion of each year.


Entry criteria:

To be eligible for entry into the first year of this degree, potential students must:

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident
  • attend an interview
  • provide evidence of your readiness to study at a degree level. This might be through:
    • successful completion of Kāwai Raupapa - Certificate in Māori Visual Arts Level 4
    • NCEA Level 2
    • a level 4 arts qualification of 120 credits
    • a creative portfolio and CV detailing experience.

Fee detail:

The 2021 fees for this degree are:

Year 1: $5,384

Year 2: $4,880

Year 3: $4,458

GST inclusive.


Are you eligible for fees-free study?

First time tertiary students studying fee paying programmes may be able to study fee free in their first year. To find out whether you are eligible visit: feesfree.govt.nz.

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