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Course details

Maunga Kura Toi - Bachelor of Māori Art
NZQF Level 7

About the course

Start your journey

NorthTec’s Maunga Kura Toi (Bachelor of Māori Arts) is a unique opportunity to learn Whakairo (Carving), Rāranga (Weaving) or Rauangi (Visual arts), with ākonga (students) gaining a deeper understanding of Ngā Toi (Māori Arts). The degree equips students to contribute significantly to Toi Māori, Te Ao Māori, communities and industries.

Our ākonga are taught by Kaiako (tutors) who are passionate and skilled in their fields of expertise, and willing to impart knowledge to the next generation of artists.

With Tikanga, Mātauranga Māori and customary knowledge being the foundation of the degree, ākonga are supported and enabled to be culturally aware, critically analytical, reflective and responsive about Toi Māori, its challenges and potential.

Learning takes place through weekly tutorials, either in person or online. Monthly wānanga held at Te Puna o Te Mātauranga marae enable ākonga to study off-campus for much of the programme.

What you will learn 

Maunga Kura Toi - Bachelor of Māori Art aims to produce graduates who have an advanced portfolio of skills, knowledge and aptitudes. This includes conceptual and theoretical competencies as well as technical and procedural abilities appropriate to Toi Māori.

This programme embraces Māori philosophies, Māori principles and Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge). It is further distinguished from other degrees in New Zealand because of its strong emphasis on rangahau and project management. Graduates will be culturally aware, responsive and reflective and demonstrate an ability to work honourably and collaboratively with whānau, hapū, iwi and hapori.
This is not an immersion Māori programme however Māori language and culture are woven through all aspects of the study programme.
The programme has a focus on

  • Mātauranga Māori

  • Principled practice and praxis

  • Research and reflective practice

  • Creating work

You will learn to analyse, select and apply techniques, processes and practices according to a kaupapa Māori context for the production of creative work.  You will become skilled in your chosen kaupapa toi and be able to work confidently as an individual and in collaborative projects.

You will be able to

  • Explain your creative processes

  • Articulate the meanings behind your work

  • Research

  • Use academic conventions to discuss your work

  • Reflect critically on your work and the work of others.


Courses in this programme

The degree has three kaupapa toi, Raranga, Whakairo and Rauangi. You will enrol in your specific kaupapa toi.

  • Taumata Atakura are papers that will integrate principle approaches to a kaupapa toi practice.

  • Kaupapa toi are papers that concentrate or specialize in practical components.

  • Electives allow you to select additional courses which currently cover either teaching or busness skills. 

Career opportunities and pathways

There are a number of institutions that offer master’s programmes and graduates can pathway into these for further study, provided all admission criteria are met.
Skills gained in this programme will prepare you for:

  • Teacher training in secondary, Kura Kaupapa, tertiary level art and Māori art education

  • Developing the potential of Māori design to support business developments in tā moko, computer graphic design, art galleries, fashion, film and television

  • Curatorial positions, conservation, exhibitions in public museums and art galleries

  • Preparation of portfolios for workshops (wānanga) on marae or for private, corporate and government commissioned work

  • Operation of an art studio or exhibition space to generate an income

  • Production and organisation of artistic work required for stage, Māori theatre and performance, television, and work in freelance advertising

  • Work in tourism.

Entry requirements

All applicants must attend an interview, and show a portfolio of art work. Kaiako will determine relevance.

To be eligible for entry into the first year of this programme, applicants must:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen (or citizen of Australia, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands) or permanent resident; and

  • Be at least 16 years of age or over (unless an exemption has been granted) at the commencement of the programme; and

Level 5 (Year 1) applicants must have:

  • Successfully completed Kāwai Raupapa - Certificate in Māori Art or an equivalent toi qualification (120 credits at Level 4), or

  • NCEA Level 2; or

  • Proof of relevant experience equivalent to that provided in the Kāwai Raupapa Level 4 programme graduate profile.

All applicants are required to attend an interview prior to being enrolled.

Level 6 (Year 2) applicants must have:

  • Successfully completed Toi Paematua – Diploma of Māori Art (Level 5) or Toi Paematua – Diploma of Māori and Indigenous Art (Level 5) (leading to the NZ Diploma in Ngā Toi (Level 5) or Year 1 of Maunga​ Kura Toi; or

  • Been granted recognition of prior learning

All applicants are required to attend an interview prior to being enrolled into Year 2 of this degree

Qualifications gained

Maunga Kura Toi - Bachelor of Māori Art 

Tutorial Staff

Lorraine King

Rauangi Tutor for Maunga Kura Toi

Ngāti Kahu, Whakatohea

"As a painter I often express the personal and social complexities of connections that reflect whānau, hapū and iwi. My recent works use kowhaiwhai as a vehicle to express connections that evoke cultural narratives."

Lorraine King has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Auckland University of Technology and is currently completing her Post Graduate studies through Massey University in Māori Visual Arts. Her work is in public and private collections throughout New Zealand, and  he has exhibited in New Zealand and the U.S.A.

Te Hemo Ata Henare

Raranga Tutor for Maunga Kura Toi

Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Te Whakatohea

“Tēnei au he tauira nā ōku tüpuna.
Tēnei au he tauira ma ngā whakatupuranga.
He tauira! He tauira! E ara e”

Te Hemo Ata is a contemporary Māori weaver, learning and practising traditional techniques. A practitioner for 34 years, she first learnt to weave at the age of 12 and went on to teach. After 25 years teaching in the Tertiary sector, Te Hemo Ata has achieved Bachelors in Māori Visual Arts and has recently been awarded a Masters Māori Visual Arts through Massey University. Te Hemo Ata has participated in group exhibitions and numerous marae projects throughout New Zealand. Her focus for many years has been to ensure continued practice of weaving to pass on to future generations.


About the provider

NorthTec is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (Te Pūkenga). Te Pūkenga brings the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and the arranging training activities of certain Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) together to create a national network.

As one national network, Te Pūkenga will provide flexible, career-focused learning that fits around your life – on-the-job, on campus and online. Helping our people, our communities and our workforces grow and thrive together.

NorthTec has campuses and learning centres in Whangarei, Ngāwhā/Kaikohe, Kerikeri, Dargaville and Kaitaia. 

We’re transforming lives right here in Te Tai Tokerau, Northland so whether you imagine yourself as a chef, a nurse, or dream of getting a job in a trade, check out our over 100 programmes and enrol now for a brighter future.