Beginners Start Here

KО̄RERO / This is NOT a Kete

maori weaving Mar 26, 2016

Making a Stand for Māori Weaving

It's been happening for years - cheap imported baskets masquerading as 'kete'.

Now it's time to take a stand for Māori weaving and Rāranga weavers.

The baskets pictured above, are NOT Kete. These are bags made in Asia by machine and sold for less than $3 in NZ

THE Baskets pictured below ARE Kete  woven by hand using the Rāranga - Māori basketry technique.


Kete is the Māori word for carrying basket. It is not a transliteration of kit. It is a Māori word for a basket woven from plant material using the Rāranga Māori weaving technique. Other plants are also used to weave kete. These include pingao (a yellow coastal grass) and kiekie (a plant that grows in the bush at the base and on the trunks of trees).

Recently, Veranoa Hetet posted this on her Maori Weaving with Veranoa Hetet Facebook Page:

Making a Stand for Raranga

"Years ago the $2 Shop was advertising these things as 'Kete'. My mother threatened them with court action if they should continue using the Māori, pre european word alongside imported weaving. She won that battle. Now it is time to stop the online auction and online stores from doing the same.

These have NOT been woven from harakeke (New Zealand flax) nor have they been woven by a Maori weaver. They have not even been made in New Zealand and yet too frequently they have been Kiwi-fied with hot glue and a paua shell or a feather. They have lengths of printed Maori designs sewn on to them and are sold off as a ‘Maori flax kete”. OMG. Stop!

They are nasty and they cheapen the hard work that goes into the weaving of a kono, a konae, a kete.

I am disgusted when I see these cheap and nasties used by Government departments, different award ceremonies, and even worse - when used by our own people. Placed on the Marae Atea holding a koha. How about fostering the arts and livelihoods of our own weavers? Support our young student weavers and buy THEIR work instead of forking out a whole $2 to buy this imported crap. I am so over it. It is time to stand up for our own. I may have hurt some peoples feelings with this post. Hei aha…. I am standing up for our weavers. I am standing up for Rāranga.

We know that beautiful weaving exists in other cultures, woven by hand by amazing weavers.
We celebrate that and those weavers.

We don't celebrate ~

  • The devaluing of our traditional arts
  • Rāranga weavers having to compete against the prices of cheap imports and defend the prices they charge for kete
  • False advertising and misrepresentation
  • The misappropriation of Māori terminology for economic gain that benefits other people

We hope you'll help raise awareness of this issue by sharing this post with your networks.

Kia Ora!

The Whānau of the Hetet School of Māori Art