The Weaving of Veranoa Hetet.

By Veranoa Hetet
Mar 2015

Kia ora

Ko Veranoa Hetet toku ingoa. No Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Maniapoto me Te Atiawa ahau. My name is Veranoa Hetet. I am from the Iwi of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Maniapoto and TeAtiawa.

Veranoa Hetet in her studio weaving her latest cloak.

I belong to a family of artists. My Great Grandmother, Dame Rangimarie Hetet, was New Zealand’s most noted Master weaver of recent times. My Mother, Erenora Puketapu-Hetet was a Master weaver and contemporary artist. My Father, Rangi Hetet is a Master Carver. I am married to a carver, Sam Hauwaho and I have five children.  All of our children are very artistic.

Taught at a very young age by my mother, I have been weaving for over 35 years and have exhibited nationally and internationally. I have also travelled around the World to teach and to promote Māori weaving. I am a full time weaver / artist and teach an online course in Māori Weaving.

The latest piece of weaving that I have been working on is a little cloak for my yet to be conceived Mokopuna. None of my children are showing signs of settling down soon to give me grandbabies! I had a thought “Weave it they will come”.So, I am weaving a cloak from muka (flax fibre) and the feathers of our native New Zealand birds. Feathers from the kaka, kereru, kiwi, pukeko, takahe, tui and kakariki. I have even introduced some pheasant feathers in there (pheasants are not a native bird). All of these feathers come from Native birds that have been caught in traps that were set for possums. Some of the birds were caught in traps or were attacked and killed by stoats and weasels. It’s very sad to see these beautiful birds of ours die but when we do it is honouring their lives and their beauty by giving them another life force – by turning their feathers into something that can be admired.

I have a wonderful vision of this grandchild of mine sitting on my knee under this blanket like cloak, asking me “Nanny what’s this feather?” “Nanny what’s this birds name”? “Nanny what’s thiscolour?” It will be a great cloak to start story time, to teach about the birds and colours and the natural world in which we live. It will be a lovely cloak for this baby to be Christened in, to have a portrait photograph taken at every birthday, and eventually to hand down to his or her own child. It is a wonderful dream time I have while weaving this cloak.

Photograph courtesy of Katie O’Neill and Emai Owen

Photograph courtesy of Katie O’Neill and Emai Owen