Poutuarongo Toi Whakarākai

Bachelor of Design and Art

Toi Whakarākai aims to increase the number of Māori artists who are skilled in traditional techniques and who can significantly contribute towards the wellbeing and development of their marae, hapū and whānau.  Students will choose between a weaving or carving pathway. Iwi and hapū studies and te reo Māori are a key part of all Toi Whakarākai programmes.

Whakairo (Carving)

If you are hands-on and love creating then begin your carving career here. Tell the stories of your whānau, hapū or iwi by giving voice and expression to thought via the visual medium of toi whakairo rākau (traditional Māori wood carving).  

In this three year degree programme you will learn the production methods used in whakairo rākau while studying iwi narratives, pūrākau and Māori creation stories. Explore the concept of whakapapa (genealogy) that underpins the Māori world view and the foundations of traditional Māori carving. Journey into the realm of Māori deities, study their pūrākau and associated kōrero while creating artworks, such as, Hine Raukatauri (deity of wind instruments) and the pūtōrino; Tūmātauenga (deity of weaponry) and the hand weapons wahaika and kotiate; Rongo-mā-Tāne (deity of peace and cultivation) to examine whare tūpuna; Mataora (deity of taa moko) and the components of te tuhi (design elements) and whakarākai (adornments, surface design).

Build upon these foundational skills in years two and three as you gain proficiency and the ability to apply advanced techniques to your creations. Assessments focus on whakairo rākau creations, oral presentations and written assignments. As well as practical carving sessions, you will research your iwi, hapū and marae to drive creative works and study te reo Māori to assist in conveying the symbolism and imagery of your art.  Graduates of the Poutuarongo Toi Whakarākai will be significant contributors to maintaining and extending iwi traditions and kōrero through whakairo artworks and creations.

Raranga (Weaving)

Keep the stories of your whānau alive through the creative art of weaving.  Toi Whakarākai aims to increase the number of Māori artists who are skilled in traditional weaving techniques and who can significantly contribute towards the wellbeing and development of their whānau, marae, hapū and iwi. 

The first year of this three year degree introduces you to tikanga, processes and research associated with the creation of traditional Māori woven taonga. Learn to gather and prepare natural materials to weave in the techniques of whatu, tāniko or raranga in order to create indigenous fashion, handmade textiles and other woven art forms.  

Over the course of the degree, you will develop an understanding of atua Māori, karakia, pūrākau and their relevance to the weaving art form. Keep visual diaries to record your weaving journey, learn traditional techniques in dyeing and staining and produce taonga for your whānau. As you increase your proficiency and mātauranga through the creation of more refined woven art forms you will also be able to mount and curate an exhibition of works. 

In each year of this degree, students also take papers in te reo and iwi and hapū studies. These components are an integral part of this qualification to enrich you as an artist, your ability to conceptualise various art forms and give meaning and relevance to your creations.  

The Poutuarongo Toi Whakarākai degree will complement anyone considering the indigenous fashion industry, wearable arts, teaching and those wishing to open a small business, gallery or produce whānau, iwi or hapū taonga.    


Poutuarongo Toi Whakarākai

Bachelor of Design and Art

Code: PToi
Credits: 360
 3 years
Level: NZQA Level 7
Delivery: Residential seminars, self directed learning and online delivery
Mode: Bilingual (Māori/English)
Next Intake: Huringa 1 (March)
Entry Requirements: Minimum age of 17 years. Regular internet access, email address and computer, laptop, tablet or other suitable mobile device is required.
Tuition Fees: Raranga (Weaving) - $11,263 (approximately). Whakairo (Carving) - $13,689 (approximately). Note: These do not include other course related costs such as resources for practical components.

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  • Year One

    PTOIA101A Foundation in Ngā Toi: Raukatauri OR
    Foundation in Ngā Toi: Whatu/Tāniko

    PTOIA102A Ngā Toi 1 - Tumatauenga OR
    PTOIA102B Ngā Toi - Whatu/Tāniko

    PTOIA103A Ngā Toi 2 - Rongomātāne OR
    PTOIA103B Ngā Toi 2 - Raranga

    PTOIA104A Ngā Toi 3 - Mataora OR
    PTOIA104B Ngā Toi 3 - Raranga


    IWI101 Private Study of One Marae
    IWI102 Private Study of Iwi History


    REO101 Hui Rumaki Reo 1
    REO102 Hui Rumaki Reo 2

  • Year Two

    PTOIA201A Ngā Toi 4: Hineraukatauri OR 
    PTOIA201B Ngā Toi 4: Whatu/Raranga

    PTOIA202A Ngā Toi 5: Tū-mata-uenga OR 
    PTOIA202B Ngā Toi 5: Whatu/Raranga

    PTOIA203A Ngā Toi 6: Rongo-mā-tāne OR
    PTOIA203B Ngā Toi 6: Whatu/Raranga

    PTOIA204A Ngā Toi 7: Mataora OR
    PTOIA204B Ngā Toi 7: Whatu/Raranga


    IWI201 Private Study of One Hapū
    IWI202 Selected Private Studies


    REO201 Hui Rumaki Reo 1
    REO202 Hui Rumaki Reo 2

  • Year Three

    PTOIA301 Research of a Selected Art Form
    PTOIA302 Advanced Ngā Toi 1
    PTOIA303 Advanced Ngā Toi 2
    PTOIA304 Advanced Ngā Toi 3


    IWI301 Oral Literature Studies
    IWI302 Hapū and Iwi Performance


    REO301 Hui Rumaki Reo 1
    REO302 Hui Rumaki Reo 2

After Graduation

Ka puta te ihu

  • Working Artist
  • Exhibition Technician
  • Educator / Lecturer
  • Curator