Toi Iho: the best of Māori art. Website being refreshed

Toi Iho artists are constantly in the news!


The Toi Iho Charitable Trust has been granted up to $200,000:

  1. to establish an IP Advisory Team to question, challenge, and report on cultural misappropriation and safeguard Mātauranga Māori,
  2.  to deliver skill development Wānanga for Toi Iho members,
  3.  to create a new updated website and
  4.  to revitalise the national Toi Iho trademark that verifies authentic, high-quality Toi Māori with a marketing initiative.

Members of the Toi Iho Charitable Trust met 29 May 2023 to welcome the grant from MCH. We celebrated the proposed rejuvenation of this trademark of authenticity and high-quality Māori artists and Māori art and culture. Moana Maniapoto, Professor Robert Bob Jahnke, Dr Sandy Adsett, Elizabeth Hauraki and Elizabeth Ellis are highly delighted at the prospect of having the means to reach out and engage with established Tohunga Toi Māori, Te Ara Whakarei. They are the role models for emerging and developing Te Ara Hou rangatahi artists.

Te Toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka aweawe te ao katoa.

Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder.


Tēnā koutou katoa. Nau mai, piki mai, haere mai. 

At this time we remember with tears and aroha our Toi Iho Charitable Trust Secretary, Rangatira Dr Benjamin Pittman, ONZM. Ngāpuhi, Te Parawhau, Ngāti Hao, Ngāti Hau who passed away on 19 February 2023.  A Toi Iho Te Ara Whakarei artist, valued and respected historian, writer, cultural leader and friend to many around the world.  He and his ancestors held the mana of Māori and Toi Iho forever strong.

Kua hinga he Totara I te wao nui a Tane. A mighty Totara has fallen in the forest of Tane

2 June 2023

Toi Iho is the registered and globally recognised trademark of quality and authenticity of Māori art and artists. It is acknowledged as an exceptional cultural initiative by and for Indigenous NZ Māori by WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

Toi Iho distinguishes the work of Māori from others in the marketplace. It seeks to protect Māori art from misappropriation and copycat non-Māori. The aim is that Toi Iho artists will display the Mark on their work as Māori-Made and retailers will promote the trademark and Māori artists. 

The works of each new applicant are assessed by leaders in the art form so that high quality is assured and maintained.  

The Toi Iho Charitable Trust is the legal entity established to care for and manage Toi Iho on behalf of Māori and approve Toi Iho artists’ creative works as genuinely Māori Made.

We ask that our Toi Iho artists send us information about new exhibitions or other cultural events so we can profile them on these pages. We are keen to celebrate and showcase the breadth and diversity of Māori art practice today.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa!

New developments: 

The Toi Iho Charitable Trust has developed several new directions:

  • Our Chair and many of our artists have promoted the Artists Resale Royalties scheme that emphasises the ongoing connection between artwork and artist by 5% amount being given to the artists when one of their works is resold. 
  • In 2022 the Wairau Māori Art Gallery opened on 19 February. It is one of the two galleries inside the Hundertwasser Art Centre and is sited in Te Taitokerau, Whangarei. It is a unique public gallery for Māori artists and Māori curators only and for all Māori everywhere. In the one year since we opened, there have been 110,000 visitors.   The WMAG inaugural exhibition Puhi Ariki was curated by Nigel Borell MNZM, Māori Curator at Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The second exhibition entitled Tohu Whakatipu was curated by Karl Chitham, Director of the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, Wellington. Karl also curated exhibition three, Kei Muri Te Mea, Te Ra. the first solo exhibition of northern artist, Shane Cotton.  Dr Ngahuia Harrison, Academic, researcher and PhD scholar, is the first woman to curate a WMAG exhibition, Te Whanga a Reipae, the fourth exhibition.  Lisa Reihana’s has her first solo exhibition in Te Taitokerau, He Wai Ngunguru – Nomads of the Sea on until 5 November 2023. Learn more at their website here:   
  • We support initiatives of iwi and hapū collectives of Māori artists from the visual, performance, film and language disciplines, who either whakapapa to iwi, hapu or live in the iwi rohe such as:
    • Te Tairāwhiti Arts, Gisborne.
    • Toi Ngāpuhi, Te Taitokerau.
    • Toi Matarau, `Otaki.
    • Māoriland Films.
    • Iwitoi, Ngāti Kahungunu, Hastings. 
  • We are refreshing relationships with retailers of Māori cultural products in Museums, Art Galleries, and the general marketplace. The Poi Room, Kura Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa, Tāmaki Paenga Hira, the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Visitors are encouraged to buy the best of Māori art, authentic and high quality, marked by the Toi Iho trademark.

Over the next 30 years, we envisage that the Toi Iho trademark will be a symbol of the creative spirit of Māori and Aotearoa New Zealand. Toi Iho will exemplify the best of Māori art and Māori artists who perpetuate traditional cultural expressions, demonstrate contemporary technologies and practices and lead the way for future generations.

We plan to promote our artists as role models of best practices for aspiring artists, enhance the cultural profile of Māori, and benefit the overall culture of New Zealand.

The Toi Iho tohu, logo, distinguishes cultural products created by Māori, from copycat products made by non-Māori.

Improved structures and systems

We have an outstanding kōkōwai red Toi Iho design and guidelines for artists. We hope to see the new kōkōwai design featured by Toi Iho artists, in their publications, exhibitions, performances, and creative activities.

We have an established accounting system with reliable Chartered Accountants, Hounsell Accounting Ltd, Birkenhead, Auckland.  We thank the voluntary Website Adminstrators who have   We have strategies to begin seeking sponsorship and funding to support resources for Toi Iho artists.   

Te toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka aweawe te ao katoa.
Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder.