Master carver celebrates 50 years at Māori Arts and Crafts Institute

For 50 years, Clive has been “passing on what has been taught in the correct form” to the many carving students he has taught.

Tumu whakarae (master carver), Clive Fugill began his carving career with a pocket knife in a wood shed and on 15 January, 1967, was one of seven successful applicants at New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute’s (NZMACI) first intake. Fifty years on, both Clive and NZMACI celebrate their achievements.

For 50 years, Clive has been “passing on what has been taught in the correct form” to the many carving students he has taught.

“In life, no one on the planet knows everything - I have a life of continuous learning, I’m nosy - I learn every day and I never stop. I don’t worry about the things I know; I worry about the things I don't know.”

50 year celebrations
Whānau (family) and colleagues celebrated Clive’s 50 year long service to NZMACI with a surprise luncheon held in his honour. A haka (traditional Māori dance), performed by current and past students, welcomed Clive, followed by honorary speeches.

“Not many organisations have the opportunity to celebrate someone who’s been with them 50 years, let alone someone who’s been there since the beginning,” said Te Puia l NZMACI CEO, Tim Cossar.

NZMACI general manager, Eraia Kiel, presented Clive with a patu ōnewa (stone weapon made from greywacke), carved by pou whakairo (lead tutor) of the National Stone and Bone Carving School, Stacy Gordine.

“I chose to make a patu ōnewa as I knew it was an item he didn’t have in his personal collection,” said Stacy.

“As a youngster, Clive visited a private collection of taonga (treasure) in Dargaville, where he was captivated and inspired by a beautifully crafted patu.

“This parallels how staff and students at NZMACI are captivated, inspired and in awe of the knowledge, skill base and carvings produced by koro (male elder) Clive.”

Proudly holding up the patu ōnewa, Clive said, “I’ve always wanted one, and now I’ve got one.”

“I’ve never forgotten its shape and form; I’ve tried to recreate it. Stacy and his boys have this down to a fine art and this is perfect,” said Clive.

An early morning karakia (prayer) was also held to celebrate NZMACI’s 50th anniversary. Celebrations will continue throughout 2017 in the lead up to the new Wānanga Precinct.

History of NZMACI
The original carving school, Te Ao Marama, opened its doors in 1927 on the shores of Lake Rotorua, at Ohinemutu.

The school later closed in 1937, due to the economic recession and imminent onset of World War II.

However, 30 years later in 1963, Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley was chosen as the site for a new carving school, which with the passing of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Amendment Act in 1967, became recognised as a national institute.

Fifty years on, the institute, which began as a single carving school, now runs Te Wānanga Whakairo (The National Wood Carving School), Te Rito (The National Weaving School), Te Takapū (The National Stone and Bone Carving School), and The Foundry (a workshop in bronze casting), as well as operating Te Puia.

About Te Puia
Te Puia spans 70 hectares within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, on the edge of Rotorua. Home to the world famous Pōhutu geyser, mud pools, hot springs and silica formations, you will also find the native Kiwi bird and the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving.

Travel tips:
Rotorua is centrally located at the heart of the North Island. The city is a three-hour drive from Auckland or a 45 minute flight.

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