Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutungā

Ranui Ngarimu (centre right), San Francisco

A renowned weaver and respected leader, Ngarimu has belonged to Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa (TRRWOA) since the 1980s. Elected Chair of TRRWOA in 2004, she led several significant national and international weaving projects. These include ‘The Eternal Thread’, the Māori weaving exhibition that toured art galleries and museums in Aotearoa and North America from 2004 to 2007, and the accompanying publication, The Art of Māori Weaving (2005), co-authored with Miriama Evans. In 2008, Ngarimu was elected to Te Kāhui Whiritoi, the class of master weavers awarded by TRRWOA and the National School of Māori Weaving at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. Ranui strongly supported Te Puna Waiora: The Distinguished Weavers of Te Kāhui Whiritoi, the exhibition and publication presented by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna Waiwhetu in 2022, and featured examples of her weaving.


Ranui is best known for her excellence in whatu, continuity of weaving practices specific to Te Wai Pounamu and collaboration on the creation of ceremonial garments, such as the kahu awemanu Te Māhutonga (2004) made for the Olympic Committee and worn by the New Zealand team flag bearer, and Te Maungaronga ki te Whenua (2005), worn by the Chair of Toi Māori Aotearoa. Ranui is currently involved in a Marsden-fund research project investigating Te Rā, the only extant Māori voyaging sail, held in the British Museum Collection and an ongoing project to compile a pataka of traditional terminology associated with Māori weaving.

Elected to the Toi Māori Aotearoa Board of Trustees in 2020, Ranui is also Chair of Ngā Pakihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha Cultural Council and Korowai Tahi Trust—Ngai Tahu Weavers, a member of Te Urunga Māori Advisory Committee for the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Te Pou Whakahaere o Te Waipounamu for the Governor-General of New Zealand.