Indigenous brands, Maori business, Kaupapa Growth and innovation, collaborative pilot projects, culture connection and exchange, design enabled economic, culturally enriched.


Kaumātua - Conferred

Our Ngā Aho Kaumātua is Haare Williams.

A mature member of significant mana, as recognised by the members, who has demonstrated leadership in accord with the kaupapa and objects of the society.

Kāhui Whetu (Awarded)

Ngā Aho’s Kahui Whetū is a rare and elite rōpu of senior Māori designers/artists/practitioners.

HW Williams defines kāhui as: “an assemblage, cluster, swarm or flock”, whetū simply as “star”. As Te Ikaroa and attendant whetū lit the skies and provided the markers to bring our tīpuna to our home, recipients of this award have provided markers and pathways for all the Māori design community to follow, through their practice and their conduct as leaders.

Election to Ngā Aho Kahui Whetū is recognition of nominees’ commitment to advancing kaupapa Māori design, to toi Māori, to supporting and encouraging emerging Māori practitioners and to the enhancement of Māori outcomes through innovation, engagement and design.
In terms of assessing eligibility for nominees, selection criteria may require nominees to:

• Be senior or very senior practitioners within their respective field(s) of endeavour
• Have committed large periods of their careers to advancing kaupapa Māori design/mahi toi
• Have consistently displayed an innate generosity to their communities of interest and influence
• Have inspired tamariki, rangatahi and young artists/makers/design practitioners through their attentions and actions
• Exhibited rangatira status through their behaviours, performance and actions


Pae Matua

Any Māori member with widely recognised professional standing and credentials with substantial demonstrable experience consistent with the kaupapa and objects of the Society.
Sponsor: Nomination to Komiti by any Pae Matua member or by any iwi / hapu organisation.
Evidence: Whakapapa / Portfolio / Curriculum Vitae, Referees, Client / Iwi / Hapū attestation, professional credentials - certifications.


Pae Tahi

Any Māori member with skills and experience within the Society's sector interests, who has not applied or been nominated for Pae Matua membership, or who does not yet meet the requirements of Pae Matua membership.
Associate members may be identified as: Practitioner, Graduate or Student.


Kaupapa Whānau

Any company, organisation or individual whose purpose, function or practice is aligned with, and supports the fulfillment of, the Kaupapa and objects of the society, holds significant relationships with Māori communities demonstrating respect and reciprocity, but does not meet the membership criterion as Pae Tahi or Pae Matua.


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