Te Rito


About Te Rito

"Ko te taura whiri, he whiri i te tangata - The flax fibre cord is like the cord that connects people" 

The original weaving school - Te Whare Raranga - was established in 1969, shortly after the carving school. It was run by New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute's first employed weaving tutor, internationally renowned weaver, Emily Schuster (QSM, OBE).

Te Rito, named after the baby shoot at the heart of the flax bush, was built in 1994. At this school, male and female students have the honour of learning traditional Māori weaving techniques, as taught by experienced tutors.

Students within Te Rito to learn the art and skills of traditional weaving, upholding the Māori tradition for future generations.

Today, Te Rito is led by Emily Schuster’s daughter, Edna Pahewa, ensuring the time-honoured art form lives on for the next generation.

Course Information

An exclusive range of weaving programmes are on offer to male and female applicants 18 years and over.

In the past, the chance to learn the art of Māori weaving was only offered under strict conditions. Today, the protocol has been relaxed somewhat:

Positions will be available in 2019.


NZMACI Weaving

Through the NZMACI Act (1963) history the Institute has the ability to award tohu (qualifications) 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. 


This tohu is for 2 years and is 40 hours per week, 47 weeks of the year


Students are taught 

Students are taught the skills of the art form but also the tikanga associated with the practice. 

Each programme offers a different opportunity to learn, appreciate and be a part of maintaining the Māori art of weaving.

Depending on the programme, students are taught:

  • Materials used in traditional weaving
  • Karakia
  • How to weave:
    • Kete
    • Piupiu
    • Whariki
    • Pueru Māori
    • Taurapa
    • Taniko
  • How to use techniques including
    • Taniko (finger weaving)
  • Once students have a sound understanding of how to weave these pieces, they will then move on to developing and refining their skill set



For information on these courses and how to apply, please contact info@nzmaci.com.  Download form here: 




View artwork by NZMACI weavers at the Institute’s online Māori art gallery, Āhua

o   Students are taught the skill of the art form but also tikanga associated with the practice

o   Materials used in traditional weaving

o   Karakia