New Zealand Diploma in Ngā Toi (Whakairo-Ngā Mahi ā te Whare Pora) (Level 5)

Explore the Māori art forms of raranga (weaving) or whakairo (carving). Build a solid foundation in these customary practices or develop your skills further - the programme is tailored to suit you. Your learning will be underpinned by te reo, tikanga and mātauranga toi.

If this is something you've always wanted to do, now is the time. 

Our students range from school leavers to older students, all keen to explore Māori culture through art. 

Many of our students have long wanted to learn these customary practices, perhaps having seen carvings on marae or watching their grandmother weaving.

Flexible training

The one-year programme has a flexible schedule including night classes and the occasional weekend so you can study around work or family commitments.

For the carving specialisation, you do a workshop day on Wednesdays, Tuesday and Thursday nights as well as six weekends a year (the first weekend of the month, every other month). The weaving specialisation has a similarly flexible schedule. Classes are at our Whitireia Porirua campus.

Programme overview

You'll learn the traditional style of whakairo or raranga and develop a base from which you can work.

With whakairo you will build essential skills in wood carving as well as exploring different media such as working with stone or painting.

In raranga you will learn the tikanga around harvesting and preparing harakeke (flax), and begin weaving basic objects before moving to larger and more complex pieces.

The programme covers mātauranga toi (Māori art knowledge) through a range of topics: 

  • Tikanga-a-toi (art form protocols)
  • Planning and management of an artwork
  • Practical application to create an artwork
  • Te reo-a-toi (art-form terminology)
  • Research of art form history, traditions
  • Exploration of the new
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi and marae protocols

This programme aims to create the environment of Te Whare Toi: a sharing, thriving, mana-enhancing,  highly-interactive learning place for the research and application of ngā toi (Māori art) practices, underpinned by te reo, tikanga and mātauranga toi.

This one-year programme is a perfect place to begin your journey into nga toi.

Entry criteria

NCEA Level 2 or equivalent skills or knowledge and ability based on an interview.

We meet with everyone interested in doing the programme to get to know them better and see how we can tailor the programme to you.

Helpful skills

It is an advantage for the whakairo specialisation if you can draw, and for the weaving specialisation if you are have knowledge of the harvesting and preparation of harakeke and are able to make small objects such as kono and konae. However, many of our students haven't and develop these skills during the programme.

Knowledge of tikanga and te reo is also an advantage, but not essential. Students are able to develop knowledge in these areas within the programme.

International students

Proven equivalence to domestic entry requirements and IELTS 5.5 (no band below 5.0).

Further study options

Graduates of this programme can enter directly into Year 2 of the Bachelor of Creativity (Toi Poutama), which will be offered in 2020 at the Whitireia Porirua campus.

International students

Hear from our students