Flipping the fashion runway on its head, clothing labels will make way for adornment as Tiki Āhua l Kura Mōwai strips away the show-stopping fabric to showcase wearable statement pieces made from stone, bone and pounamu.

Typically showcased in display boxes, the spotlight will be on the works of six students and two tutors from the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute's National Stone and Bone Carving School when they hit the runway at Te Puia on Saturday.

Lead tutor and renowned artist Stacy Gordine said Tiki Āhua was a fantastic opportunity for the school's senior students and tutors to showcase their work to a captive audience and gain exposure as artists.

"Adornment is often only showcased in display boxes in galleries, sitting static against black cloth, however, these pieces are made to be worn.


"Tiki Āhua has dedicated a segment to adornment, which I haven't yet witnessed at a fashion show, where the audience's eye will be diverted to the intricate details of these pieces and the natural movement of them when worn."

Second-year students Colin Tihi, Te Mauri Tini, Reeve Hokopaura, Richard Witeri and Te Tai Cooper will be debuting at Tiki Āhua and are all looking forward to sitting in the audience when their pieces come down the runway.

Tihi said this year's theme, Kura Mōwai l Sacred Waters, had directed the design of his pieces.

"I've fashioned a necklace out of whalebone and rātā, with the design symbolising the lunar cycle which, of course, impacts the ocean's tides.

"It's been a learning curve from start to finish but it's been exciting to have free rein to do something abstract for Tiki Āhua."

Tini has also taken his inspiration from the ocean, creating a necklace from whalebone to symbolise the mollyhawk, a bird known to Māori as the nomads of the sea.

For Witeri, Tiki Āhua is a chance to showcase the lost carving style of his iwi - Whakatōhea.

"To my knowledge, only one carving remains which depicts the carving style of my people. This is preserved at the Auckland Museum.


"It's this which has inspired my piece for Tiki Āhua – in many ways, I'm working to bring back the lost carving style of my iwi by developing what I know into as many pieces as I can."

This year's Tiki Āhua will be the second time on the runway for third-year student Hikurangi Mangu and tutors Wi-Kuki Hewett and Rick Peters.

Peters said, if this year's event was anything like its inaugural event in 2016, it would be an evening not to miss.

Tiki Āhua fuses contemporary fashion with traditional Māori arts for an evening of fashion, design, music and dance.

The runway event will be followed by a concert headlined by LAB, the band founded by the Kora brothers and featuring musicians from Katchafire.

Tickets can be purchased for both the runway show and the concert, or separately. For more information, including prices, go to www.ticketmaster.com using the keyword Tiki Āhua.