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Source: Massey University

Toioho students creating in studio

Aotearoa’s only Māori visual arts programme, based at Massey University, is about to launch two shorter programmes to allow greater access to more students keen to immerse themselves in contemporary Māori art.

A series of public information sessions are scheduled for September and October in Masterton, Whanganui and Palmerston North to share information on the new courses (diploma and certificate level). Academics from Massey’s Toioho ki Āpiti (College of Creative Arts) Māori Visual Arts programme will also be attending a Toi Māori market day in South Taranaki on Saturday 4 December from 10 – 5pm.

The shorter courses will be available at the start of 2022 – either as a pathway into the well-established, four-year Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts degree, or as a way to integrate Māori art, design and te reo into other degrees.

Toioho ki Āpiti’s Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts has produced a host of highly acclaimed, award-winning artists over the years with a degree grounded in Kaupapa Māori. This degree has te reo, tikanga, and manaakitanga at its core and has been running for 26 years, initiated by prominent Māori artist and educator, Professor Bob Jahnke.

The shorter programmes – Diploma and Certificate – give students the choice to include Māori Visual Arts courses within their qualification.

Kura Te Waru-Rewiri, Associate Professor School of Art says this is an exciting opportunity for many interested students who may want the option of studying at Toioho ki Apiti in a shorter timeframe.

“Both the diploma and certificate courses are transferable into the Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts, should students feel they wish to continue their studies. Facilites at Toioho ki Apiti are initmate, which means the ratio of teaching staff to students is small. The staff provide a whānau environment for students and their manaakitanga for the student’s learning pathways is standout,” Kura says.

Each year has its own Kaupapa: Year 1 – Mana Whakapapa; Year 2 – Mana Tiriti; Year 3 – Mana Whenua; Year 4 – Mana Tangata.

“Our lecturers are well-known Māori artists and bring their considerable knowledge and expertise to their teaching. Most are alumni of Māori visual arts including esteemed wāhine toa painter and printmaker Kura Te Waru Rewiri, photographer and collaborator of large-scale installations Erana Arapere, jewellery and 3D artist, Gina Matchitt, weaver Karangawai Marsh, and Kaiako Reo Māori and multimedia artist Professor Ropata Jahnke,” Kura says.

Eligible students who meet the requirements of the first year fees free, can access this funding, as both the diploma and certificate are under the 120 credit maximum requirement.

Mickey to Tiki – Kereama Taepa

Award-winning artists

The Mata Aho Collective made up of four Massey alumni; Erana Arapere, Bridget Reweti, Terri Te Tau and Sarah Hudson, recently won Aotearoa’s most prestigious art award, the Walters Art Prize.

Other successful Bachelor of Māori Visual Arts alumni include:

  • Nigel Borell: recently won an Arts Laureate award for his curation of Toi Tū Toi Ora at Auckland Art Gallery.

  • Rangi Kipa: recently received the Arts Laureate award for Ngā Toi Māori.

  • Professor Ropata Jahnke ONZM: 2019 Massey University medal for Research and winner of the Wallace Art Awards in 2019.

  • Gina Matchitt: runner up at the National Contemporary Art Awards in 2019.

 “The Bachelor of Māori Arts will provide students with a culturally-based education in design, two and three-dimensional art theory and making, discussion of art issues relating to the development of Māori art, development of perceptual and conceptual skills, and a cultural foundation for visual communication. We cater for all levels of proficiency in te reo, and students can learn at the rate that’s right for them,” Kura says.

Information session locations and dates:



Wed 29th Sep – 6.00 – 7.30 pm

Te Pā, 15 Queen Street, Masterton

Wed 6th October – 6.00 -7.30 pm

The Awa Room, Whanganui Arts Centre, 19 Taupo Quay, Whanganui

Wed 13th October – 6.00 – 7.30 pm

Square Edge Art Centre, Workshop Space, 47 The Square, Palmerston North

Sat 4th December – 10 – 5 pm

Toi Maori Market, Te Korowai o Ngāruahine, 147 High Street, Te Hāwera

You can register for the Māori visual arts information sessions here.

For more information contact Belinda Weepu:

To find out more about Massey’s Māori Visual Arts programmes, click here.

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