Selling Yarns 2

Innovation for sustainability



Weaving as a base for social work and weaving as a social base for work: Te Whanau Arohanui, Waitati, Aotearoa/New-Zealand

Session: Innovation: Indigenous business perspectives Friday 6 March 2009 2:10 3:30 pm

Roka Ngarimu Cameron

Founder, Te Whanau Arohanui Trust


My husband and I established Te Whanau Arohanui Trust (The Family With Lots Of Love Trust) twenty years ago to provide care, protection and education for those in need, reflecting our dual cultural heritage. The facility was set up using the model of a Marae complex, something that is unique to M?ori. We wanted to provide people with an alternative to the mainstream organisations that were failing our people. As Part of the 150th celebration of the treaty of Waitangi (a treaty between the M?ori people and the crown of England in 1848) we wanted to do our bit to help ourselves as people and take control of our destiny.

Raranga (weaving) was established as our core business. We registered the trust as a M?ori private training establishment and delivered programs in raranga, core generics and life skills. Weaving was introduced as a skill which our people could identify with and had affinity to. For many a starting point from where they could consolidate, equip themselves with knowledge and skill and gain self esteem.

In this paper we will describe the trust and weaving school, discuss the organisation and funding model as well as our sustainable production of our own resources. We will also talk about Toi Iho, the trade mark of M?ori made products, implemented by Creative New Zealand, Te Waka Toi.

See also: Roka Ngarimu Cameron's biography