Monomono, 1990s, Latu, Fusipala'i, United States. Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa

Whatu Raranga a Kiwa, Understanding and Uniting Māori and Pacific Textiles 

Friday 10 and Saturday 11 June 20119am–5pm each day
Te Papa
Registrations are now closed

Māori & Pacific textile symposium banner

Thank you for your interest in attending the Whatu raranga a Kiwa, Māori and Pacific Textile Sympoisum at Te Papa. The Symposium was held on 9-11 June 2011 and we are no longer taking registrations. 

The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inaugural 2011 Māori and Pacific Textiles Symposium. 

See the programme (pdf, 265 KB)


The symposium of Māori and Pacific Textiles will be hosted by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. It is supported by the Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand. 

Symposium themes

The sounds of tapa being beaten and the weaving of harakeke share many genealogical and material connections, and will be the focus of the Symposium, with regeneration and revival as the uniting themes. 

Since the arrival of the ancestors of the Māori from eastern Polynesia, tapa beaters are the only proven material evidence of aute in Aotearoa New Zealand. As the aute (the plant) didn’t grow well in the new, cooler environment, using local sources for weaving and cloth making became necessary. The resourceful harakeke, or NZ flax, like the pandanus plant of the Pacific, was indispensable.

The connective threads of the Pacific, Te Moananui a Kiwa, link through weaving. Whatu (weft twining) and raranga (plaiting), join with aute to represent the coming together of traditions. Ancestral values and customs continue to inspire cultural practice and identity, but contemporary materials, science, and technology play an important role in understanding these artforms and moving them forward. 

See the programme (pdf, 265 KB)