A History of Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa

Te Moana Nui a Kiwa Hui at Pakirikiri Marae, Tokomaru Bay 1983

Ngoi Pewhairangi convened the first national hui of Māori and Pasifika weavers at Tokomaru Bay in 1983. The hui attracted over five hundred weavers widely representative of all iwi and New Zealand-based Pasifika weaving communities and acknowledged the importance of weaving together and exchanging knowledge. They also saw the importance of promoting weaving at government art level and made a recommendation to establish a Weavers committee as part of the Māori and South Pacifics Arts Council (MASPAC), on which Pewhairangi was a member.

​Aotearoa Moananui a Kiwa Weavers was formally established in 1983 and fast became a major force in the development and profile of Māori art in Aotearoa and abroad.

The Aotearoa Moananui a Kiwa Weavers reformed into two separate committees in 1989 with Māori weavers taking the name Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa.

In 1996, Emily Schuster, the chair of Te Roopu Raranga Whatu, was a signatory for the foundational Trust Deed of the independent Māori arts organisation, Toi Māori Aotearoa, with Te Roopu Raranga Whatu being one of the eight original art form committees who remain central to the direction, operation and activity of Toi Māori Aotearoa today.