Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Puia. Please check-in 15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour departure time.
At Te Takapū, students learn the revered tradition of carving pounamu (Nephrite-Jade/Greenstone), bone and stone.
The school opened on 5 October 2009, expanding on NZMACI’s commitment to maintaining, developing and promoting the arts, crafts and culture of iwi Māori (Māori tribes) as mandated by the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Act (1963) (History).
The school was first led by Lewis Gardiner who is a well-regarded pounamu artist of his generation.
Stacy Gordine, a renowned artist from the East Coast of New Zealand – and uri of Hone Te Kauru and Pine Taiapa – now leads the programme and is shaping the direction of the wānanga into the future.
NZMACI is mandated to train Māori from iwi (tribes) across New Zealand. Applicants for this school must be male, over 17 years of age and of Māori descent.
A limited number of tauira (students) are selected each year. Successful students will receive an NZMACI Scholarship to cover living expenses. There are no course fees for this qualification.
This tohu (qualification) is for two years and is approximately 40 hours per week, 47 weeks of the year.
Through the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Act (1963) (History) the Institute has the ability to award tohu to any person having special training in Māori arts, crafts or culture. The ability to independently recognise and confer qualifications remains a unique attribute of this organisation to this day.
During their study, the school’s carvers have the opportunity to be involved in a range of kaupapa (initiatives) on-site, throughout New Zealand and possibly overseas. The outcome is two-pronged – it fulfils NZMACI’s cultural perpetuation, protection and promotion mandate and exposes students to environments which help them see first-hand how knowledge, history, and ideas are manifested through material culture.
Students specifically work on projects to prepare them for establishing careers as artists once they leave the school.
He kōingo nōku kia ruku ai ki roto ki wēnei wānanga, ki roto i wēnei mahi whakairo. I tupu ake au i roto i te āo whakairo o Ngāti Tarawhai, o Ngāti Pikiao, Ki tāku e mōhio, Ko te nuinga o ngā whare tūpuna, whare wānanga i tupu ake ai e au i whakairohia e Kaka Niao, ko Te Amo rātou ko Wero. He tāonga tuku iho.
It is a deep desire of mine to delve in and understand the importance of our customs and protocols based around whakairo Māori. Raised in the environment of Ngāti Tarawhai and Ngāti Pikiao whakairo, I was fortunate to learn things pertaining to these carved meeting houses. Kaka Niao, Te Amo-a-Tai and Wero Tāroi are the tohunga whakairo, who inspired me to do what I do today. It is a treasure for them to be acknowledged and preserved.
Ko āku pūkenga whakairo he whāngai nā Te Tumu whakarae o Te Takapū o Rotowhio, ko wai ake, ko Stacy Gordine. He tangata rongonui ki au, he nui taku whakaute ki ā ia. Nōku te whiwhi ki te ako, nōku hoki te maringa nui ki te noho ki raro i ngā akoranga a Matua Stacy, otirā, Te Takapū o Rotowhio.
The mindset and skills I have for whakairo today are an acknowledgement to Stacy Gordine. He has an important role in our wānanga pounamu and is someone I highly respect. I am thankful to learn, but I am more grateful to learn in this space, under the guidance of Matua Stacy here at Te Takapū o Rotowhio.
Whāngaihia wōu kete kia kawea ki tua!
Learn as much as you can and share it!
Photo: Tipene Oneroa
Stacy works with multimedia, bone, pounamu (greenstone), stone, wood, silver and more. He became lead tutor of Te Takapū in September 2014. He holds a Diploma in Māori Visual Art and Design and has works held in Te Papa, Pātaka Museum and the Dowse Museum Collections, as well as private collections worldwide.
Stacy’s background involves artist teaching and exchange residencies in Alaska and Hawai’i. His influences are Pacific Rim indigenous artisans past and present, as well as Great Grand Uncles Pine and Hone Te Kauru Taiapa.
Applicants must be of Māori descent, Male 18 years old or over and be able to demonstrate a competency in Māori art and/or design and have an ability and willingness to interpret and understand the theory component of this qualification. To maintain the standard and quality of our graduates, places are strictly limited. Applications for our next intake are now welcome, closing date 6th October 2023. Please email [email protected] for more information.
Application forms are available from the NZMACI office at Te Puia or you can download the form here.