The daughter of Te Rongopamamao and Charles Wilson Hursthouse, (Nana) Rangimarie was raised with her mother’s people the Ngāti Kinohaku hapū of Ngāti Maniapoto.
Born in 1892, Rangimarie grew up learning to weave and in her 50’s set about reviving the art which was near extinction.
Along with her daughter, Diggeress Te Kanawa, Rangimarie was renowned as a weaver and teacher both nationally and internationally.
Her legacy is carried on today through her granddaughters and great granddaughters who continue to weave, teach and conserve this traditional Māori artform.
Among them: Grand daughters Muri Turner, Ria Davis, Kahu Te Kanawa and several great granddaughters including Veranoa Hetet. Grand daughter, Rangi Te Kanawa, who also weaves, is a museum conservator of Māori weaving and Ata Te Kanawa, another granddaughter, promotes Maori fashion design through her initiative MiroModa.
A grandson of Rangimarie Hetet, Rangi is the co-founder of the Hetet School of Maori Art.
At the age of 17, Rangi was taken out of school by elders of his mother's people, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, to become a carver to help carve the meeting house Tapeka for Chief Te HeuHeu in Waihi at Lake Taupo.
Rangi learned carving at the old carving school Te Ao Marama in Ohinemutu, Rotorua under the mentorship of Hone Taiapa. He was a member of the Konae Aronui group of carvers who carved many Wharenui around New Zealand. He is the last remaining carver of that fraternity of carvers alive today.
Rangi has taught carving for many years in various settings including the Institute of Maori Arts and Crafts at Whakarewarewa, Wānanga, Marae and the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
With his wife Erenora, he developed the first Marae based training programmes in traditional Maori Art, the first Maori Museum Intern programme as well as diploma and degree programmes for Wānanga and Polytechnics.
As Master Carver, Rangi has overseen the creation of wharenui and several waka taua. His work can be found in public and private collections worldwide.
Erenora was the daughter of Vera and Ihaia Puketapu. She was raised in the tribal settlement of her father’s people the Ngāti Hamua of Te Atiawa at Waiwhetu.
Rangi and Erenora courted when Rangi worked on the wharenui Arohanui ki te Tangata at Waiwhetu in the late 1950s. They were the first couple to be married in the meeting house a month after it opened.
Erenora learned taaniko weaving with her sister-in-law, Jean Puketapu and rourou from other women in her whānau as a young teenager.
At 19 and as a new member of the Hetet whānau with an obvious interest in weaving, she was taken under the wing of Rangi's grandmother, Rangimarie, who taught Erenora raranga, whatu kākahu and other weaving skills.
Erenora was renowned as both a traditional weaver and a contemporary Maori artist and was highly regarded as a teacher of weaving. Her work can be found in public and private collections throughout the world.
Sam is of Tuhoe and Te Aitanga a Hauiti descent. He has been carving since 1988 under the guidance of his father-in-law, Rangi Hetet.
Sam is one of two protege of Rangi and a teacher of carving. He has more than twenty years of teaching experience and has taught for private training establishments, the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Whitireia Polytechnic.
As well as being a Kaiwhakairo, Sam is also a keen diver and fisherman. His love of the ocean drew him to an interest in Waka.
In 1992, Sam sailed on the maiden voyage of Te Aurere to Rarotonga using ancestral navigation methods. Sam has assisted Rangi in the building of four waka and other major commissions.
Sam and his wife Veranoa and their family live in Waiwhetu where they continue to teach and undertake commission work.
“I weave, therefore I am” are the words that reflect Veranoa’s passion for weaving and love of teaching.
Veranoa has followed in her mother’s footsteps to become a weaver, teacher and artist.
With her mother, Veranoa developed a teaching matrix that imparts both Maori weaving skills as well as Maori cultural values in an holistic way that reflect traditional Maori teaching practices.
Veranoa has a BA in Maori Design and Art, an advanced certificate in Tertiary teaching and more than 30 years experience teaching Maori weaving. She has taught in various tertiary institutions including Te Wananga o Raukawa and several Polytechnics.
Veranoa continues to pass on the knowledge of weaving through her teaching, demonstrations, speaking and exhibition work.
Lillian’s key focus is supporting the community of the Hetet School of Maori Art. Her knowledge of and passion for the web has made it possible for our whānau to bring what we know to many more people than we otherwise could.
Lillian's role in the whānau has always been to support and promote the work of those who learn and create with us.
She has co-founded several businesses over the years, including Koha Gifts mall-based retail stores, a boutique Māori tourism operation, the Hetet Gallery and now the Hetet School of Māori Art.
Lillian shares her business knowledge with others who want to sell their art. Helping others to develop their web strategies and web presence has also become a focus of Lillian's work. She currently shares her knowledge and experience with others interested in online business.