To Matou Ropu

Caine Tauwhare

Caine Tauwhare (Tainui / Ngāi Tahu) was born in Canterbury and raised in Ngaruawahia in the Waikato. He considers himself fortunate to have been raised among uncles who were carvers to Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the late Māori Queen, who passed away in 2006. He spent a lot of his childhood in the carving environment and although he never carved himself then, he was seldom without a pencil in his hand.

Caine spent seven years in the New Zealand Army, chiefly based at Burnham Military Camp, near Christchurch. When he left military service in 1993, he picked up that pencil again and started making enquiries about carving courses and apprenticeships. As a result he spent almost three years based in Whanganui, learning from carver, Dean Flavell, followed by a one year diploma course at Te Wananga o Raukawa.

He returned to Rapaki with his wife and children to reconnect with his own whakapapa. He great-aunt, Dawn Kottier and her cousin, the late Aunty Sissy (Waikura McGregor) had always dreamed of a local carving school and when he was asked to ‘come on board,’ Tauwhare jumped at the chance.

‘The carving centre and its kaupapa is about the whole person. There is still a lot of work to do to get where we want to be, but with support we have a strong vision of what we want to achieve, I know we will get there’ he says.

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Damian Mackie

Born in Wakatipu, Aotearoa, and a descendant of Ngati Kura, Damian’s kaupapa toi skill set encompasses Whakairo, Ta Moko and Rauangi (visual art).

Damian has a Bachelor of Māori Art – Maunga Kura Toi (Whakairo) and has been employed as Kaiwhakairo and Centre Manager at the Whakaraupō Carving Centre Trust.

Raised in Hornby, Otautahi, Damian was introduced to whakairo at school and developed his ability to draw Mahi Toi from a young age. 

Damian has held a variety of management roles in the resource, safety and construction industries in Western Australia and New Zealand. Damian has two trade qualifications and is undertaking part time study working towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.

As a Toi Practitioner, Damian has been guided by the kaupapa Toi Principles – Toi Awe, Toi Iro, Toi Hanga, Toi Raupapa, Toi Aro and Toi Hua. Damian promotes these Toi Principles at the Centre which has contributed towards the development of the Whakaraupō Kura Project and Whakaraupō Toi initiative.


Tiori Rahui-Aranui

At the age of only 16 Tiori's ability to create Mahi Toi was noticed by his kaiako when attending a Toi Aro Programme in 2020.  Tiori descends from Ngāti Kahungunu and moved to Otautahi with his whanau in 2018.

Tiori has been inspired by the knowledge passed onto him by the Kaiwhakairo at the Centre and has inspirations to become a Master Carver


Quentin Roake

Born in Otautahi of European decent, Quentin returned to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2004 after fifteen years in the UK.

Having first worked as an architect in New Zealand and England, in 1992 he formed UK based publishing partnership Hillier and Roake, publishing in London and New York. An offshoot project saw him restore a medieval, Tudor, Elizabethan half-timbered home in Kent working hands on with a team of local craftsmen. His career has continued to be practical and  project based. In 2005 he managed the commercialisation of new technologies developed by the University of Canterbury’s College of Science, notably Environmental Prediction Systems – a stacked computer modelling system evaluating wind energy potential.


Sparked by an early visit to Okains Bay Museum he has since been researching, designing and building contemporary Māori and Pasifika waka. Quentin received a Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi ART Venture Fellowship in 2007 developing Nga Waka Tangata project and the project has had continuing support from FRST, TPK, MSI and MBIE’s Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund.


This project aligns with the vision of the Waitangi Tribunal’s Wai 262 report for the future, the realisation of our nations full potential being contingent on”…a change in mind-set – a shift from the ‘old’ approach that valued only one founding culture to one which the other is equally supported and embraced.” Quentin is excited to be working collaboratively helping establish Whakaraupō Waka and sees  Whakaraupō Carving Centre Trust’s approach as undoubtedly contributing to an awareness and fulfilment of the Tribunal’s vision of “a genuine infusion of the core motivating principles of mātauranga Māori – such as whanaungatanga and kaitiakitanga –into all aspects of national life.”


Quentin has a bachelor of Architecture degree from Auckland University and a Masters of Indigenous Studies from Otago.


Click here to read Quentin's waka research.