Rangimarie Hetet née Hursthouse

Ngāti Maniapoto

1892 - 1995

Rangimarie Hetet was born in Oparure. She was sent to Paemako Primary School in Piopio, and continued her studies at Te Rauamoa Primary School, Te Kuiti Primary School. She was one of the first pupils of Oparure School, which was built on land given by her aunt Te Mihinga Joseph. As a young woman she helped at home, learned how to knit, crochet, and sew, and became interested in weaving at quite an early age. Rangimarie went on to become one of New Zealand’s foremost weavers and after the establishment of the Māori Women’s Welfare League Rumātiki Wright asked Rangimarie to teach weaving to members of the League. In those days it was unusual to teach weaving outside the family, but Rangimarie felt it was important to teach weaving to the wider Māori community to ensure its survival. When Queen Elizabeth II visited Te Kuiti, all the school children wore Māori clothing woven out of muka by local women. This idea was mobilised by Rangimarie. She was a member of the Pa Committee in Oparure, a member of the school committee, and a life member of the Māori Women’s Welfare League. She was involved in the establishment of the family-operated Ohaki Māori Village which was in operation from Rangimarie received a number of awards for her contribution to Māori weaving, including a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Fellowship Award in 1974, an OBE in 1973, MBE in 1984, an award from the Māori and South Pacific Arts Council, an honorary doctorate from Waikato University in 1986, an award from the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in 1992, and CBE in 1992. Rangimarie and her daughter Diggeress Te Kanawa won a joint Media award when Rangimarie was 90. Rangimarie’s weaving was characterised by its fine detail, pattern, colour and design. In 1976, Barry Barclay produced a film about weaving a korowai called Aku Mahi Whatu Māori which featured Rangimarie and Diggeress.

Biographical sources

  • Phone conversation with Diggeress Te Kanawa, 29 July 1998.
  • "Māori Art Award." The Press 18 January 1994: 2.


  • "Ko Te Mahi o Te Piupiu/The Art of Making Piupiu." Te Ao Hou 21 (1957): 24-28.
  • Co-authors Rangimarie Hetet and Ina Te Uira. The text of a taped interview in Māori with an English translation in which Ina Te Uira questions Hetet on the construction of a piupiu. The interview was broadcast over YA stations in November 1957.
  • "Rangimarie." "Te Moana." Nga Puna Waihanga Annual Hui: Te Rua Tekau Tau 1973-1993. Comp. Averil Herbert. [Rotorua?]: Nga Puna Waihanga, 1993. 11.
  • In this tribute to Nga Puna Waihanga, Hetet recalls the annual hui in Taupo in 1976 and in Oparure in 1990. She speaks briefly of her desire to see women pursuing the weaving arts.
  • Sound recordings

  • "The Moa and Korowai Makers." Wellington, N.Z.: Radio New Zealand, Replay Radio, [198-?] [Spectrum/Radio New Zealand, 033,241]


  • Haggie, Sonya. "Dreams and Hopes of Kaumatua Represented by Ohaki Māori Village." Tu Tangata 9 (1983): 30-31.
  • A description of a project to "preserve, protect and promote Māoritanga" at Ohaki Māori Village with Hetet as the "driving and inspirational force."
  • "Leading Exponent of Traditional Skill." Te Ao Hou 55 (1966): 22.
  • "He Whakatairanga i a Rangimārie Hetet mo te Tohu Tākuta o Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato." Tu Tangata 36 (1987): 19.
  • In Māori.
  • Orman, Tony. "Master Weavers of Waitomo." New Zealand Woman’s Weekly 6 Apr. 1987: 11.
  • Maihi, Toi te Rito. "Rangimarie Hetet." Craft New Zealand 34 (1990): 26-28.
  • "Rangimarie Hetet." Māori Artists of the South Pacific. Ed. Katarina Mataira. Raglan, N.Z.: Nga Puna Waihanga, 1984. 14-21.
  • "Rangimarie Hetet and Digger Te Kanawa." Celebrating Women, New Zealand Women and Their Stories. Produced by Mediawomen of New Zealand. Whatamongo Bay, N.Z.: Cape Catley, 1984. 52-54.
  • Erai, Michelle, Fuli, Everdina, Irwin, Kathie and Wilcox, Lenaire. Māori Women: An Annotated Bibliography. Wellington, N.Z.: Michelle Erai, Everdina Fuli, Kathie Irwin and Lenaire Wilcox, 1991. 11, 38.
  • Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon, Oxford UP, 1972. 111.