This thesis/exhibition report is an explication of the significance and relationship of Kai
rāranga, rāranga whāriki and their relationship with whānau, hapū and iwi. It explores the
impetus behind and relationships important in, and to the production of whāriki.
Through the exploration of these relationships the necessity for whāriki wānanga throughout
Aotearoa and having wānanga as the preferred medium of imparting knowledge pertaining to
rāranga whāriki and for continuity in the production of whāriki is emphasised.
It touches on the Māori convention of tono that facilitates interaction between the Kai rārangaresearcher
and the Kai tono-researched negating the sometimes invasive convention of ethics
approval and formalised contractual obligations.
It follows the pathway of author and Kai rāranga, Te Hemo Ata Henare’s, coming to be of her
mahi whāriki practice. It is an intimate account that extends from function and technique to
foundational connectivity to the wider roopu whāriki and those who have preceded us with
templates of excellence that recognise the importance of the whakapapa of Māori whakaaro,
our epochs and eons of transcendent time and the interconnectedness of all things in and
through these patterned processes (Jackson, 2013; Marsden, 2003; Tamanui, 2013). As
Karani Sonny Pāpuni said;
“…you take this whāriki home with you and then a piece of us will always be
with your whānau” (Mate ki Tātahi [Sonny] Pāpuni, personal communication,
May 17 1991).
A clear objective emerging out of this research exercise was to produce a body of work in the
form of an exhibition of whāriki and to produce a pictorial and written explication of the process
and praxis of whāriki wānanga. However, through the research process, I was returned; i hoki
atu ki te timatatanga ō oku mahi, so I could come to know and be.
The theme that emerges through rāranga whāriki is the inseparability and the multiplicity of
whakapapa and/or whanaungatanga that the Kai rāranga embodies essential for the
continuation of the praxis of rāranga whāriki that can only be described as extraordinarily