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Aloha E! For NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute

25 June 2004

Aloha E! For New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute

Rotorua's Maori Arts And Crafts Institute (NZMACI) is helping revive ancient Hawaiian carving skills lost over the past century.

This week leaders from the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii visited the Institute to formalise a cultural exchange programme with NZMACI to promote the arts, crafts and culture.

NZMACI chief executive Andrew Te Whaiti says the Institute has strong ancestral links with Hawaii, so the opportunity to share culture and traditional skills in arts & crafts is quite special.

The Institute is strong in carving and weaving, with some 95 carvers graduating over the 40 years the Institute has been operating.

"It's exciting to see our skills are valued so highly internationally."

"To be approached by the Kamehameha Schools is a great honour, and shows the kind of recognition we have worldwide. We're embracing this opportunity to share with them."

Te Whaiti says the bond between the two organisations is strong because both operate under similar directives - to invest in traditional arts, crafts and culture.

"The Maori Arts and Crafts Institute is seen as a world leader in the way it's been able to operate a successful commercial venture and re-invest profits in Maori arts, crafts and culture."

The Kamehameha Schools - elementary, middle and high schools - are state-of-the-art learning centres run by a trust established in 1884. They aim to integrate Hawaiian culture, language, history and tradition into educational programmes.


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