The Kaipātiki Weaving Roopu
Weaving is much more than just weaving an item. It is about connecting with Papatuanuku, Ranginui, and the plant itself.
It is about giving back to the plant more than anything else, as if we do not look after the plants we do not have a resource to weave with. It is about connecting with like-minded people, its also learning about upholding tikanga Maori, and following a process. Each step you learn takes you to the next step.
Learning about harakeke and weaving with this beautiful fiber is about patience, perseverance, and being open to making mistakes, as this is how we learn. Our roopu encourages mistakes. In the beginning learning to weave is not about making a perfect piece, it is about learning the technique.
I invite you to learn about the amazing plant that Harakeke is and learn how precious this taonga is.
Kaipātiki Weaving Roopu
Weaving with Harakeke
Our Kaipatiki Weaving Roopu started about 15 years ago. I had an interest in craft and was invited to attend a short community course with our Master Weaver Whaea Judy Te Hiwi. I attended the classes and fell in love with the fibre.
I then decided that I would put together a little group once a week to come together and learn. I found a tutor, and found some people who were interested, a small group of about 5-6 attended. This group met for several months once a week in Glenfield.
During this time I would attend workshops through the Kaipatiki Project, with whaea Judy. The more I learnt the more interested I became. Our group started to grow – still a small group but more people wanted to attend.
Fast forward 15 years, and this group still meets today in Glenfield, we have a core group who come every week of about 7-10 women. It’s a time that we learn from each other, connect, chat , and support one another. Our individual learning continues with the support of each other. It is great to weave amongst likeminded people.
Pour roopu still weaves under the guidance of Whaea Judy Te Hiwi.
Community Weaving Wananga
Over the years we spoke about teaching other people. At this time I was working for the Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust, and held the Maori portfolio, I was able to offer weaving courses out to the community. I spoke to Whaea Judy, who endorsed us, and supported us in the journey. The roopu agreed to come onboard, and the weaving wananga weekends were born.
We ran our first wananga five years ago, which was highly successful, we received lots of positive feedback from our attendees, and then decided grow our wananga, to where we are now. Our classes/wananga teach a wide variety of skills to the participant. Each person is taught how to harvest correctly, how to prepare the harakeke, how to weave the harakeke, to a finished product. They learn about the process and techniques whilst being totally wrapped within a Maori Kaupapa and environment. When attending our courses it is like being on a Marae.
People make items such as Kete, backpacks, shopping baskets, wall hangings etc. Throughout the weekend there is so much information that is shared that people are really tired at the end of the weekend. However they love it.
Our team will walk beside our participants, to help them get to the end. It is a hands on experience.
We encourage our participants to become a whanau and help, support each other.
“The environment created for the raranga wananga was special. Having multiple options for support meant learners were more supported and able to follow their own pathway. It left me feeling as though I had a taster of what raranga could have been life through the ages, with a community coming together around raranga with fun, unity, ako. The sense of manaakitanga flowed through the collective wairua of the Kaipatiki Weaving Roopu. It felt genuine and authentic.
Thank you so much.”