Whāriki - Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi

Te Toi Huarewa

Te Toi Huarewa

In October 2023, Te Taumata brought together our board, team, and members of our wider community for our first annual reflection hui. Held at Te Mahurehure Marae, the hui was an opportunity for whakawhanaungatanga and for a review of our mahi and our future direction.

At hui we were joined by Tāmaki-based raranga weaver Kiriana O’Connell (Ngāti Tūkorehe, Pākehā). Kiriana brought to the hui some whenu that had been prepped and coloured in two of the Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi colours. After each session on the Te Taumata pou, participants were invited to write on a whenu strand words that captured the essence of the session. Kiriana then wove the many whenu strands into a whāriki that holds the words and the wairua of the hui.

As she gifted this whāriki to Te Taumata, Kiriana explained its name and the patterns chosen for each of the four panels that represent our pou.

The name of the taonga is Te Toi Huarewa, which means ‘the suspended way’, like a creative pathway. Suspended not as in delayed but as in waiting. Kiriana said she thought this was “a beautiful whakaaro for all of the mauri that everyone has put in because that is what you are doing, finding the creative way forward.” The name echoes the whakatauki gifted by Tā Hugh Kawharu to the trust when it was established in 2002; Whāia te toi huarewa o te auahatanga, hei kete toitoi manawa mō Tāmaki Makaurau – Seek the pathway of creativity as a kete of inspiration for Auckland.

The four papa of the whāriki each represent one of the four pou of Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi.

  • The Governance pou pattern is Te Karu o te Whenua which means the eyes of the land. It symbolises the overseeing role of governance, keeping the big picture view.
  • For the Te Manawa pou papa the pattern is Niho Taniwha. Niho Taniwha is all about storytelling and whakapapa. The Niho Taniwha pattern  symbolic of a connection between the day to day realm, and the realm of the spirit world/
  • Advocacy is represented by the Whakatutu pattern. This represents standing up for what you believe in.
  • The Creative Leadership pou pattern is called Kowhiti whakapae. This is about the discussion and exploration of different points of view that characterise creative leadership.


Te Manawa


Creative Leadership

On either side of the pou are two lines, a pattern called Taki Rua which is basically over two, under two. This represents working together for a common goal.

Nga mihi nui to Kiriana for her amazing mahi and the gift of this taonga.