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16 Jan 2024

Toi Maaori Waananga reblooming in Kirikiriroa

A logo for Toi Maaori Waananga. It says He kai kei aku ringga - providing food by my own hands.

It all began in September of 2023, when Toi Maaori Ki Kirikiriroa Waananga marked a significant moment in Kirikiriroa, presenting Toi Maaori artists with a unique opportunity to foster connections, share experiences, and embrace connection. The event’s resounding success planted seeds of realisation – a profound understanding of the need for support, care, and relationships that were nurtured during the gathering, which held great value for Waikato Toi Maaori artists and the communities they work with. As a result of this insight, a second event came to fruition.

Creative Waikato is proud to present Toi Maaori Waananga, which will be held on Saturday, 10th February, in Kirikiriroa.

The original programme, Toi Maaori Ki Kirikiriroa, spanned three days and included a community day event. The revised Toi Maaori Waananga will be focussed into a potent single-day event and still retain the same enriching kaupapa: the creation of space for ngaa toi Maaori practitioners to engage in koorero, inspire one another, and offer the exchange of maatauranga. Honouring ngaa mahi toi supports Waikato ringatoi but also fosters whakawhanaungatanga and strengthens and enhances community hauora and wellbeing through the vibrant expressions of arts, culture and creativity.

He kai kei aku ringa – Providing food by my own hands.

This whakatauki embodies the kaupapa of Toi Maaori Wannanga and speaks to the resilience, empowerment and hope for our Waikato’s Toi Maaori community. It symbolises the ability for ringatoi to utilise and share their skills, collaborating for their personal growth and development, which will foster the continued momentum forward in the future aspirations for the tukuna, reinforcing the vital contribution Toi Maaori practitioners and ngaa mahi Toi make to Waikato communities. 

The event promises attendees a vibrant array of offerings that will provide ngaa toi Maaori with a diverse programme. The koorero and waananga will be rich and relevant with industry experts who will share a wealth of experience and knowledge, exploring topics such as the impact of AI on mahi, funding applications, and the influence of the tourism industry on the Toi Maaori sector. Additionally, there will be an opportunity for the sharing and exchanging of mahi to showcase creative works and share their stories and experiences with other ringatoi.

Kereama Clarke, Project Lead and Kaiwhakahaere i nga Mahi Toi / Regional Māori Arts Developer at Creative Waikato, expressed his delight at the event’s reblooming.

“It’s about us banding together as Toi Maaori artists or supporters so that there is more fruition.” He continues, “The sharing of knowledge is a great thing. I could see it from the last waananga; lots of people got together and spoke about their craft, art, and creative offerings. They talked about how they were doing things, asking the how and the why so others could have that information for themselves. Then, they could build on their how and why.”

Waikato boasts many talented Toi Maaori artists, and together, they form the threads of a beautiful whariki woven together with strands that come both from emerging talents to some of Aotearoa’s most esteemed ringatoi. Ngaa toi Maaori encompasses diverse art forms, blending traditional practices with contemporary techniques, all united by a deep respect for tikanga and an embrace of te ao Maaori.

An invitation and registration have opened for Waikato Toi Maaori artists and practitioners across all realms and levels of experience of ngaa mahi toi to participate in this nourishing celebration. The participation of diverse ringatoi will work towards the waananga’s success. Whether emerging or experienced, all Toi Maaori contributions bring value to the continued mission to revitalise, reinvigorate, recalibrate, and reinforce the significant contribution Toi Maaori practitioners and ngaa mahi Toi make to communities in the Waikato.

Toi Maaori Waananga
When: Saturday February 10th, 2024
Where: Te Pūkenga Events Room 1 and 2 in Kirikiriroa
What time: 9am – 5pm
Cost: $10

If you have any questions about this kaupapa, please get in touch with Kereama Clarke – Kaiwhakahaere i nga Mahi Toi / Regional Māori Arts Developer at Creative Waikato on kereama@creativewaikato.co.nz.

Register here

Registration closes Friday 9th February, unless sold our prior, and is needed to ensure your place to attend the waananga.
Participants are encouraged to bring some of their own mahi toi to share as part of the event.