Toi Iho Maori Made Mark will bring cultural and economic benefits to New Zealand

  • Judith Tizard
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Judith Tizard welcomed the launch in Auckland tonight of the toi iho maori made Mark, an initiative that will recognise and benefit Mâori art and artists, and bring economic benefits to New Zealand as a whole.

“The toi iho maori made Mark will assist Mâori to create viable careers as practising artists, and promote Mâori art and artists in the global market,” said Judith Tizard.

“Mâori art is unique to Aotearoa. As a nation, we need to preserve and promote our unique Mâori artistic expression, not only because it is precious to us, but also because it gives us a point of difference on the global market.

“There is a burgeoning interest in Mâori art both in New Zealand and internationally. Assurances of authenticity and quality have been lacking in the tourism industry for many years. The mark provides this to New Zealanders and visitors from overseas.”

The toi iho maori made Mark was launched at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tâmaki tonight by Te Waka Toi, with Mâori artists in attendance, and a performance of Hirini Melbourne’s song “Toi Iho”, composed to celebrate the launch.

The toi iho maori made Mark is aimed at the domestic market, international tourists and tourism interests and will be used by Mâori artists to market, sell and present their works.

Two companion marks acknowledge the cross-cultural ventures between Mâori and non-Mâori. They are the toi iho mainly maori Mark and the toi iho maori co-production Mark.

“Pakeha artists who collaborate with Mâori artists may be able to have the Mark on their work,” said Judith Tizard. “Businesses could also benefit from the Mark if, for example, they collaborate with a Mâori artist or designer to produce a product on a commercial scale which also meets the Mark’s authenticity and quality requirements.”

The initiative is part of Creative New Zealand’s Seriously Mâori Strategy which was developed with funds from the Cultural Recovery Package. The components of the Seriously Mâori Strategy evolved from extensive consultation with Mâori, spanning several years on issues relating to Mâori arts.

“The Labour-Alliance Government made the significant Cultural Recovery Package funding injection into the arts for three main reasons: cultural activities are intrinsically good; they play a huge role in defining our nation; and they are a rich source of employment, foreign exchange earnings, productivity and cultural tourism,” said Judith Tizard.

“The toi iho maori made Mark is a valuable tool for promoting New Zealand’s unique arts and crafts. It’s part of a world-wide trend to distinguish the art of indigenous peoples.

“The Labour-Alliance Government is pleased to support this important initiative for uniquely New Zealand arts, which will have far-reaching, long-term benefits and effects.”

The toi iho maori made Mark was designed by a team of senior Mâori artists led by master carver Dr Pakaariki Harrison.

The first application round for the toi iho maori made Mark closes on April 5th.
No application fees will be charged in the first year. Fees will commence in 2003.
The toi iho maori made Mark will gradually appear in New Zealand retail stores from July 2002.

For more information visit Creative New Zealand’s website: