Meleta is Tumu of Te Rito (Head of the National Weaving School). Previously a weaving tutor at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Rotorua, Meleta has shared her knowledge of this art form for the last 10 years. Passing on the cultural skills and practices of the elders and creating links for future generation of weavers. Although contemporary, Meleta’s work is influenced by and utilises customary techniques and materials with examples of her work exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently she has been engaging with the wider indigenous weaving community, through cross cultural indigenous gatherings both here in Aotearoa and the U.S.A.
Teresa was inspired to take up the art of weaving as a child, learning and watching the likes of her nan, Merepeka Naira King, Noelene Matenga and the late Emily Schuster (QSM, OBE) as they demonstrated – at an early age – the mastery involved with the weaving profession and she has not looked back ever since.
Apart from her own whanau, weaving and teaching others how to weave is her life. She enjoys experimenting with traditional and contemporary techniques and has travelled nationally and internationally promoting her craft.
Hectorina became a Pouako at Te Rito in 2005, enabling her to pass on the skills and knowledge of whāriki (intricate mats) and weaving, as they were handed on to her.
Hectorina enjoys educating roopū in their own ancestral areas enabling iwi (tribes) to deliver programmes that require her expertise and assistance. These kaupapa (projects) include: Tanatana Marae kapa haka uniforms – Waimana 2007 and Te Wheki Marae tukutuku panels – Rapaki 2010.
Hectorina insists that her mahi (work) at Te Rito is her way of giving back to Te Arawa (local tribe) and the tutors that taught her the legacy of weaving.