We are the Hetet family of Māori Artists, sharing a treasured tradition online with students worldwide.
The daughter of Te Rongopamamao and Charles Wilson Hursthouse, (Nana) Rangimarie was raised with her mother’s people the Ngati Kinohaku hapū of Ngati Maniapoto.
Rangimarie grew up learning the art of Māori weaving and in her 50’s set about reviving the art which was near extinction. Along with her daughter, Diggeress Te Kanawa, Rangimarie was renowned as a weaver and teacher both nationally and Internationally.
Her legacy is carried on today through her granddaughters and great granddaughters who continue to weave, teach and conserve this traditional Māori artform.
Among them: Grand daughters Muri Turner, Ria Davis, Kahu Te Kanawa and several great granddaughters including Veranoa Hetet. Grand daughter, Rangi Te Kanawa is a museum conservator of Māori weaving and Ata Te Kanawa, another granddaughter, promotes Maori design in the fashion industry.
A grandson of Dame Rangimarie Hetet, Rangi is the co-founder of the Hetet School of Maori Art.
At the age of 17, Rangi was taken out of school by Ngati Tuwharetoa elders to become a carver. His first assignment was to help carve the meeting house Tapeka for Chief Te HeuHeu at Waihi on the shores of Lake Taupo.
Rangi learned carving in Rotorua under the mentorship of Hone Taiapa and was a member of the Konae Aronui group of carvers who carved many Wharenui – meeting houses – around New Zealand. He is the last remaining carver of that fraternity of carvers alive today.
Rangi has taught carving for many years in various settings including the Institute of Maori Arts and Crafts at Whakarewarewa, Wananga, Marae and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
Along with his wife Erenora, he developed the first Marae based training programmes in traditional Maori Art, the first Maori Museum Intern programme as well as diploma and degree programmes for Wānanga and Polytechnics.
As Master Carver, Rangi has overseen the creation of wharenui and several waka taua. His work can be found in public and private collections worldwide.
As the matua of the Hetet School of Māori Art, Rangi continues to provide mentoring and guidance through masterclasses.
Erenora Puketapu Hetet was the daughter of Vera and Ihaia Puketapu. She was raised in the tribal settlement of her father’s people the Ngati Hamua of Te Atiawa at Waiwhetu.
Erenora learned taaniko weaving as a child from her sister-in-law, Jean Puketapu, and went on to learn other forms of Maori weaving as a young woman from other family. Her husband’s grandmother, Rangimarie Hetet, taught Erenora the art of cloak-making.
Along with her husband Rangi, Erenora taught many people in the traditional Maori visual arts. The pair passed on their knowledge and skills around the country on Marae, through Wananga, as well as private training establishments and tertiary institutions.
Erenora was renowned as both a traditional weaver and a contemporary Maori artist and was highly regarded as a teacher of weaving. Her work can be found in public and private collections throughout the world.
“I weave, therefore I am” are the words that reflect Veranoa’s passion for weaving and love of teaching.
The daughter of Rangi Hetet and Erenora Puketapu Hetet, Veranoa has followed in her mother’s footsteps to become a weaver, teacher and artist.
For most of her teenage and adult life, Veranoa worked alongside Erenora and together they developed a teaching matrix that imparts both Maori weaving skills as well as Maori cultural values in an holistic way reflecting traditional Maori teaching practices.
Veranoa has a BA in Maori Design and Art, an advanced certificate in Tertiary teaching and more than 30 years experience teaching Maori weaving. She has taught in various tertiary institutions including Te Wananga o Raukawa and various Polytechnics. Veranoa has also exhibited extensively nationally and internationally and has completed numerous private and public commissioned works.
Like her mother, Veranoa has travelled the world sharing her passion for and knowledge of Maori weaving. She continues to pass on the knowledge of Maori weaving through her teaching, demonstrations, speaking and exhibition work.
Sam is of Tuhoe and Te Aitanga a Hauiti descent. He has been carving since 1988 under the guidance of his father-in-law, Rangi Hetet.
Sam is one of two protege of Rangi and a teacher of carving. He has more than twenty years of teaching experience and has taught for private training establishments, the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Whitireia Polytechnic.
As well as being a Kaiwhakairo, Sam is also a keen diver and fisherman. His love of the ocean drew him to an interest in Waka.
In 1992, Sam sailed on the maiden voyage of Te Aurere to Rarotonga using ancestral navigation methods. Sam has assisted Rangi in the building of four waka and other major commissions
Sam’s work is held in private and public collections around the world. He has completed many major commissions among them the Doors to the New Zealand Parliament Select Committee Room, public buildings like the Hutt Hospital and most recently, Te Papa Tongarewa – National Museum of New Zealand.
Sam lives in the Waiwhetu Maori settlement with his wife Veranoa and their children.
Lillian is known by students of the Hetet School of Maori Art as ‘Techy gal’. She is passionate about utilising technology to bring our teaching to students around the world and to support the school’s vibrant online community.
The eldest daughter of Rangi and Erenora, the weaving gene skipped Lillian and went to her daughter Ani. Lillian’s creativity is expressed through words as well as web design and development. Among other pursuits, she spent a decade in retail selling Māori art in gallery and gift stores and tutored the business course for the Diploma of Maori Art and Design at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
In recent years, Lillian has become enthralled with the internet and has designed, written and built several websites including hetetschoolofmaoriart.co.nz. She now consults local businesses on web development and online business strategy.