Harakeke: New Zealand flax
Science gives harakeke one name, Phormium, but Māori have many names for harakeke based on a plant’s use and features. Visit the Harakeke Collection and discover some of the beautiful stories of harakeke - if you listen carefully, there are many deep layers of meaning.
The Harakeke Collection has been selected over the centuries by Māori weavers from all over New Zealand. Each variety has been especially chosen for its unique leaf and fibre properties and specific use in weaving. Harakeke is an incredibly important plant for Māori - traditionally it was used to make many important everyday items such as kākahu (garments), kete (kits), taura (rope), whāriki (matting) and rourou (food baskets).
To learn more about, and from, this precious tradition - keep an eye on our events calendar for workshops where you can learn how to harvest and weave harakeke and the protocols that apply. We are also able to provide harakeke material to groups wishing to use traditional harakeke in weaving, for education and research.
Harakeke harvesting is available to community with consent from our curator. We have tikanga (protocols) that need to be followed in order to keep this precious taonga (treasure) healthy and protected. Please contact our Harakeke Curator Angela to organise a time for harvesting and learn our tikanga prior to harvesting: Angela.Anstis@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz. Please no harvesting without permission from our curator.