Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded

Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta. 

“That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s Rebuilding Together Budget. 

“Incorporating the Te Puia Tourism Centre and the Māori arts and crafts training centre, the institute has been part of the country’s Māori arts and tourism landscape for nearly 100 years, and is expected to continue to play a vital role as Aotearoa recovers and rebuilds.” 

Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the institute’s continuity is vital, culturally and economically and the Government’s investment will bring relief in response to travel restrictions after COVID-19.  

“The support will safeguard the future of toi Māori and ensure that our future carvers, weavers, waka exponents, and arts and crafts champions have a place to hone and perfect Māori arts for generations to come. 

“Further, there is no doubt the impacts of COVID-19 will have on the tourism and hospitality sector. 

“I also have no doubt iwi partners will be working diligently to ensure that they continue to carry the business through this uncertain time.” 

As a major local attraction, numerous other businesses and individuals are likely to benefit from Te Puia over the medium term, including accommodation and retail services. Prior to COVID-19, around two out of every ten visitors to Rotorua visited Te Puia. 

Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute is the only institute of its kind in the world. It was formed in 1926 and operates as a tourism venture with specialised education schools dedicated to Māori arts and crafts.  

“This taonga has a history of innovation and creativity and I am confident it will respond well to the challenges of the new environment,” says Nanaia Mahuta.