Te Aho Mutunga Kore is our new textile and fibre knowledge exchange centre for Māori and Pasifika communities, launching in 2023 with the generous support of Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. On this page, find out more about the kaupapa of this work, and follow the journey as the mahi progresses.

Te Aho Mutunga Kore

The eternal thread

Te Aho Mutunga Kore

Te Aho Mutunga Kore translates literally to the eternal thread. This sentiment is befitting of this important kaupapa, intended to become a permanent centre at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum. It will nurture creativity, knowledge sharing and knowledge creation by decentering the Museum and handing agency back to Māori and Pasifika communities. 

Te Aho Mutunga Kore will ensure sustained engagement with textile and fibre collections held by the Museum, to strengthen the ties (aho) between community and their material culture heritage, creating a safe pathway for taonga tuku iho (knowledge transmission). 

"Kotahi te kōhao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro mā, te miro pango, te miro whero"

-Tāwhio Tūkaroto Matutaera Pōtatau Te Wherewhero

Through the eye of the needle pass the white threads, the black threads and the red threads.​​ Looking to the past as you progress, hold firmly to your love, law and your faith.

Community groups involved

Community groups involved

Te Aho Mutunga Kore is starting with five projects carried out by Māori and Pasifika community groups. Each group will be given access to the fibre and textile taonga they are interested in, within the collection at Tāmaki Paenga Hira. They will each decide what their own project will entail and achieve, within the kaupapa of knowledge exchange relating to fibre and textiles collections.  

Following are the five community groups who are involved in 2023. We’ll be sharing updates from these groups as they go.


Photo taken from the Kiribati Arts and Weavers Community visit in June. 

Project one: Kiribati Makers 

Tāmaki Paenga Hira has one of the best late 19th and early 20th century Kiribati collections, which is of key importance to local Kiribati makers. Initial discussions with the makers have been about accessing collections to study and learn older techniques, and to revitalise practices of making in the community. Click through to read updates from The Kiribati Arts and Weavers Community as they progress on their journey with Te Aho Mutunga Kore. 


Project two: Solomon Islands Collection   

Auckland Museum has 7,029 records of Solomon Islands collection items. Initial conversations with the president of the Solomon Islands Wontok Association, Mrs Florie Dausebean indicates a project around the kuza string bags and personal adornments of the Solomons Islands. The outcomes of the project will include workshops for community and perhaps public demonstrations and written language resources for children. 


Project three: Te Rā Ringa Raupa 

Conversations have begun with the Northland Weavers who recently researched and created a full-sized replica of Te Rā, the only known Māori sail in the world, and now in the collection of the British Museum. The group are interested in looking at Auckland Museum's kākahu and whāriki collection, to inform research and to start producing kākahu/whāriki based on their findings. 


Project four: Weavers from Whitianga (Te Tara-o-Te-Ika-a-Māui - Coromandel)

Early discussions have started with weavers from Whitianga who are interested in the styles and techniques of kākahu and wish to draw upon the Museum’s collections to build knowledge and develop skills. 


Project five: Taumata Māreikura 

Participants in Te Awe Phase II and members of the Taumata Māreikura have expressed an interest in reviewing the completed work of Te Awe (Phase 2), and to progress further with the kaupapa, with intended outcomes including the establishment best practice storage models for whāriki (mats). 

If you are part of a Māori or Pasifika community group who would like to be considered for participation in future Te Aho Mutunga Kore projects, we’d love to hear from you. Register your interest here and our team will be in touch. 


Donate now

Continue the threads of knowledge

Every gift to Te Aho Mutunga Kore supports a space for sharing wisdom, exchanging stories, and nurturing treasured skills. Help to ensure the continuity of Māori and Pasifika textile traditions with your donation today.


Keep in touch

Sign up to receive email updates about Te Aho Mutunga Kore, as this kaupapa progresses. We’ll share regular updates of the mahi each community group is undertaking.

Image: Te iriba n bobai, ornamental fan. Kiribati. AWMM. 2002.95.1; 55961. More information

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Te iriba n bobai, ornamental fan. Kiribati. AWMM. 2002.95.1; 55961. More information

This kaupapa is made possible with the significant and generous support of Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage