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Rangiwaho creating happiness and love

Rangiwaho Marae is already a modern and visually stunning marae, but trustees have made it more so with a Wananga Harikoa (happy) creative workshop held over six days.

The result is a collection of multi-coloured crochet work which will be exhibited later in the year.

Rangiwaho Marae trustee Ihipera Whakataka said an open invitation was issued to would-be participants to bring along spare fabric or clothes, a sewing machine, buttons, baubles, thread, twine, scissors, glasses, ribbons and wools, to work alongside fabric artist/master quilter Ron Te Kawa and crochet experts Rudi Robinson Cole and Lissy Robinson Cole.

“We have piggy-backed off Ron's talents,” said Ms Whakataka.

“We are doing this as a way of bringing back joy after Covid.

“We have teachers who have felt the burden of the year and two lockdowns.

“We have done this to create happiness and to share the love.”

“Rudi and Lissy are innovative and creative people who are happy to share their skills.”

Among the wide range of people who took part in the workshop was an 84-year-old grandmother who learned how to crochet.

The artwork will be exhibited at Rangiwaho Marae later in the year, and will also feature in Mr Te Kawa's next exhibition at Tairawhiti Museum.

Ms Whakataka said the “new age” Rangiwaho Marae had a progressive committee.

“We are open to all ideas.”

The creative workshop originated from “a response” to master carver Riki Manuel who is creating the whakaairo (carving) for the Rangiwaho mahau (porch).

The Ngai Tamanuhiri marae, situated at the foot of the Wharerata Ranges, is a new modern-looking marae designed by Architects 44 who blended the contemporary and the traditional into warm, light and natural buildings.

The marae was built on the principles of sustainability and features compost toilets and solar power.

Ms Whakataka said the marae is open to all.

“There is no koha.”

It is about a sharing of resource and the giving of love after Covid.

“We want a happy start to the year.”

RANGIWAHO MARAE FOREVER: Tutors and participants at the Wananga Harikoa (happy) creative workshop included (from left) Rudi Robinson Cole, Lissy Robinson Cole, Dale Raihania, Ron Te Kawa, Renee Babbington, Ihipera Whakataka and Dorris Hill. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
CROCHET CRAFT: Heaven Harrington (left) and Iris McGhee proudly display some of the quilt work produced at the Wananga Harikoa (happy) creative workshop at Rangiwaho Marae. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell
GREAT WORK: Dorris Hill (left) and Rene Babbington enjoy their artistic endeavours at the creative workshop held at Rangiwaho Marae. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell