Providing the vision and leadership for the Hetet School of Māori Art
Director & Matua of
the Hetet School of Māori Art
Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngai Te Rangi
Rangi has been a carver since the age of 17 when he was sent by his Ngati Tuwharetoa elders to learn at the old carving school in Ohinemutu, Rotorua.
His first teacher was Eramiha Kapua. As an 'apprentice' on Tapeka at Waihi, Rangi came under the tutelage of Hone Taiapa. Rangi went on to become a member of the Konae Aronui fraternity of carvers, travelling with Hone around Aotearoa in the 1950s to stay with hapu and carve their wharenui.
In the 1970s, at Hone's request, Rangi and his wife, the late, Erenora Puketapu-Hetet moved to Rotorua to teach at the Institute of Māori Arts and Crafts.
In the 1980s, Rangi and Erenora established the first marae based training programmes in traditional Māori carving and weaving at Waiwhetu and Wainuiomata.
They went on to start the first museum training programme for Māori interns at the National Museum of NZ; the first degree in Māori Arts at Te Wananga o Raukawa; as well as the first correspondence course in Māori visual arts at the Open Polytechnic of NZ.
Now at 84, Rangi continues to mentor, play golf and travel.
Lillian Hetet Owen
Over the past 40 years, Lillian has co-founded several businesses including Koha Gifts NZ made only stores in Wellington malls, a boutique Māori tourism operation, the Hetet Gallery and the Hetet School of Māori Art.
She has also served as founding trustee for the E Tu Awakairangi Public Sculpture Trust and the Arohanui ki te Tangata Arts and Culture Trust.
Lillian shares her knowledge and experience in small business with HSOMA students and consults about online business development with entrepreneurs and consultants working in specialist fields.
Veranoa has followed in her mother's (Erenora Puketapu-Hetet) footsteps to become a weaver, teacher and artist.
"I weave, therefore I am” are the words that reflect Veranoa’s passion for weaving and her love of teaching.
Veranoa has exhibited, demonstrated and taught Māori weaving extensively both nationally and internationally.
She continues to share her skills and passion for Māori weaving, inherited from generations of weavers in her whānau, through the Hetet School of Māori Art.
Teachers for the Hetet School of Māori Art
Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Atiawa
Veranoa has more than 30 years experience teaching Maori weaving in person and six years online. She also has a BA in Maori Design and Art, and an advanced certificate in Tertiary teaching.
Veranoa has taught in various tertiary institutions including Te Wananga o Raukawa, the Open Polytechnic of NZ; as well as on marae, and for Te Whānau Paneke private training establishment.
As a Māori weaver, artist and teacher, Veranoa has also demonstrated and taught throughout the world.
Veranoa enjoys kowhaiwhai and quilting along with her and Sam's ever expanding whānau of five children, partners and mokopuna.
Tuhoe and Te Aitanga a Hauiti
Sam has been carving since 1988 under the mentorship of his teacher and father-in-law, Rangi Hetet. He is Rangi's last pia.
With more than twenty years teaching experience, Sam has taught whakairo in private training establishments, the Open Polytechnic of NZ and Whitireia Polytechnic.
Sam has also assisted Rangi in the building of four waka and other major commissions. His work can be found on permanent display in Te Papa, as well as many public venues in Aotearoa and internationally.
Sam was one of the original crew of Te Aurere on the first voyage to Raratonga. As a man of the sea, Sam enjoys fishing and diving as well as golf, playing guitar and his whānau.
Wiki learned raranga with her sister Erenora Puketapu-Hetet in the early 1980s and went on to teach raranga for more than 30 years.
For the opening of Wainuiomata marae, Wiki was called on to supervise the weaving of the many whaariki and continued to specialise in raranga and whaariki weaving.
Wiki and her husband Sonny, established a training programme for youth and long term unemployed in Wainuiomata where she taught weaving until recently.
A long time resident of Wainuiomata, Wiki has now returned to live in the tribal settlement of her father's people at Waiwhetu. She continues to weave and enjoy gardening as well as her many mokopuna and great mokopuna.
Taking care of the day-to-day operations of the Hetet School of Māori Art
Lillian Hetet Owen
Lillian built the first website for the Hetet School of Māori Art in January 2015. Since then she has led the development of the organisation, as her whānau work to achieve their ultimate goal of
'A Weaver and Carver In Every Whānau'.
Among other things, Lillian enjoys writing, walking and whole-food cooking.
Graham came to Aotearoa from the UK with his wife Lillian Hetet Owen in 1991.
He immersed himself in studying NZ History at Victoria University, then joined Lillian to work in their businesses.
Graham is an avid reader who enjoys world history and football.
Sophie Ani Owen
Trained in office management and virtual assistance, Sophie returned from working in Canada (just before lockdown) to join her whānau at the Hetet School of Māori Art.
Sophie learned to weave at 16 with her Aunty Veranoa. She also sings, plays the guitar, enjoys reading and loves to rock climb.
Supporting and representing the vibrant community of weavers learning with the Hetet School of Māori Art
Tracy is based in Tamaki Makaurau and is currently studying toward a PhD.
Since joining HSOMA as a beginner weaver, Tracy has gone on to exhibit and sell her weaving. She has also completed the HSOMA business course and developed a range of jewellery under her own design label.
Penney is a retired teacher based in the Waikato. Since joining HSOMA as a beginner, Penney has woven several commissioned artworks. Her love of harakeke led her to partner with the Hamilton City Council to create a Pa Harakeke (from her own collection of rare cultivars) for weavers across the Waikato to access.
Lyn was introduced to raranga when she moved to Aotearoa from Australia. She joined HSOMA to extend her weaving skills and indulge her passion for raranga. Now based in Canberra, Lyn has strong ties with the local Māori cultural group and has successfully experimented with growing harakeke in Australian conditions.
Demelza, a busy mama of six, showed such promise as a beginner weaver that she was awarded the first ever HSOMA scholarship to learn with us. Demelza has since gone on to exhibit and sell her exquisitely woven kete and pikau on commission as well as undertake a museum internship at Te Papa.
Already an experienced piupiu weaver when she joined HSOMA, Ripeka has gone on to extend her raranga, taaniko and kākahu skills with us.
From the far north, and living in Paihia, Ripeka weaves on commission. In between her work and her weaving Ripeka nurtures the creative interests of other aspiring artists in her rohe.
Based in the South Island, Soraya joined HSOMA to extend her raranga skills. She now weaves kete whakairo and kākahu on commission and is developing a business around her love of weaving and photography. Her images feature throughout our website. Soraya also assists with the HSOMA Raranga For Rangatahi programme.
Based in the Wairarapa, Manaia is a busy mama who weaves between caring for her family and their lifestyle block.
Since joining HSOMA as a beginner weaver, Manaia has completed five modules of The Matrix™ including a korowai muka. Manaia now demonstrates, exhibits and sells her weaving on commission. She has also developed her own kawakawa balm that soothes weavers' aches.
Rebecca joined HSOMA from London as a beginner weaver and now weaves beautiful kete whakairo.Rebecca found her first harakeke to weave with in an inner city park next to Lord’s Cricket Ground. She was able to return to Aotearoa, where she grew up, to attend the HSOMA weaving retreat in Feb 2020. Rebecca's experience learning from the other side of the world, inspires those joining us from afar.