It’s never been more important to support local. Janaye Henry has brought her exceptional taste to the fore to help you support Māori and Pasifika-owned business this Christmas.
Kirihimete is fast approaching and what better excuse to support our Māori and Pasifika creators? I was overwhelmed at the sheer volume of high quality products being made and unfortunately couldn’t fit them all on this list. However, here are some of my fav finds and you can check out our Kirihimete gift guide from last year, our Kirihimete gift guide from 2018, the Buy Māori Made Facebook community plus keep an eye on local markets.
Cards, prints, art and stationery
Māu Designz has got you covered for all your wrapping paper and gift bag needs. Their slogan is: “Wrapped in the language!” More te reo Māori always!
Who I’m buying this for: I’m lying to myself and saying I’m buying this for my whānau’s gifts, but I will leave this very obviously in the middle of the lounge and am hoping to see my own gifts wrapped in this.
Ula and Her Brothers offer Samoan and Tongan Christmas cards, notebooks, rubber stamps, earrings and cards for all occasions. The rubber stamps would be a real asset to anyone making their own gift wrap and the cards are so beautiful.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who always outdoes me with the wrapping of presents, not this year e hoa, not this year!
Maimoa Creative offer Christmas cards in te reo Māori, gift tags and varying prints, from karakia to whakataukī. They also do stunning custom hand-lettered prints, not only are the videos of this on their Instagram so relaxing, they create such stunning pieces.
Who I’m buying this for: For me, there is that one line in the karakia that I can never seem to get right but also such a great gift idea for anyone who has recently started their te reo Māori journey as a way to centre te reo Māori in their homes.
Lily Kaukau does amazing art prints, some t-shirts and hoodies and earrings. I love the bright vibrant colours and have the Wāhine print hanging in my room, she does beautiful work.
Who I’m buying this for: That cousin who I look forward to seeing at the family events but also is low-key a hoarder and has no room in their bedroom for more STUFF. This doesn’t really count as stuff because it’s on the wall!
Māori Mermaid you might know from her Instagram, but she now has a webstore with beautiful cards and many amazing art prints. There are so many to choose from, something to aesthetically match any area of the house.
Who I’m buying this for: That aunty who has amazing taste in art but also appreciates feeling “in the know” about popular artists who are also “on the instant grams”.
Gifts and Homewares
POTPLANT STUDIO should be your number one stop for all your greenery needs. So many incredible plants, and the team is so helpful if you are a new plant parent or notorious for killing your plant babies. They even tell you which ones are pet safe.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who really wants a dog but I don’t reckon they can hack the responsibility. A plant is basically a pet that requires WAY less money and attention.
Samāori Coffee is a “bicultural blend of Samoan + NZ Māori,” for all you coffee fanatics. They have coffee flavoured everything! From actual coffee, to coffee-inspired candles, coffee scrubs and coffee gift packs, as well as lots of koko Sāmoa goodies.
Who I’m buying this for: That teacher who has been working tirelessly all year and probably just needs a nap, but hopefully great coffee is the next best thing.
Soaps by Roi make beautiful soaps with an even more beautiful price tag of $5! Soap bars are better for Papatūānuku and these are made with rongoā, including kumarahou, tūpākihi, tanekaha and tiare.
Who I’m buying this for: That grandparent who insists they don’t need more “things”. Soap doesn’t count as things, and I also like that a nice soap is a small way to pamper yourself everyday.
Ahikā Candles by Rangatahi have super cool candles in up-cycled glass bottles: think ambient candle vibes coming from your favourite wine bottle. I’m obsessed with the kaupapa of Ahikā Candles, who have a huge passion for environmental sustainability, and supporting and upskilling rangatahi.
Who I’m buying this for: That sister who loves bougie candle vibes and a box of Long Whites. A merging of two worlds!
Manea Beauty sell body wash, shampoo and conditioner bars that are plastic free, using naturally derived ingredients. Not only can you smell good and have fresh hair, you can feel smug about helping the environment at the same time.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend that’s always travelling and trying to funnel shampoo into tiny little bottles. While it is fun watching the struggle, there’s an easier way.
Joanne’s Grass Roots offer harakeke (flax) woven products. There’s earrings, kawakawa balm, kete, lampshades but my absolute favourite has to be the pōtae. Perfect for summer, in many different colours and paired with some of those earrings? A WHOLE LOOK!
Who I’m buying this for: That person whose go-to hairstyle is to a bun. You can stick your bun right on through this pōtae. This one is for you, bun community.
Auahatia sell wool and knitting patterns. I can’t pretend to be a wool expert, but to my eyes that looks like some beautiful wool – I love the colours a lot. There is even a knitting pattern for a mosaic pōtae for Matariki, incredible work!
Who I’m buying this for: That keen hobbyist who has been working on the same beanie for 3 years, maybe some fresh wool in some beautiful colours will motivate them to finally finish that beanie!
Matariki Creations are a whānau business in Palmerston North. They make beautiful balms, all-natural insect repellent and sunscreen. A perfect gift for our summer Christmases and before the whānau head away to camp over the holidays.
Who I’m buying this for: That uncle who refuses to use sunscreen because it smells weird. Just because you don’t get sunburn, uncle, doesn’t mean the sun is good for your skin and there’s no excuse now!
Aroha by Hinemoa Elder has taken my Instagram feed by storm. A beautiful way to learn some new whakataukī through Hinemoa’s brilliant mind.
Goddess Muscle contains poetry both political and personal written by award-winning poet Karlo Mila. This collection has been written over the past decade, and is now out in the light of day ready to be read by you.
Hiakai by Monique Fiso is so much more than a cookbook. It is an insight to kai Māori, the culture, the ingredients and of course some recipes. A perfect book for that foodie in your life!
The Savage Coloniser Book by Tusiata Avia is poetry that offers social commentary in ways that will stay with you for a long time. A powerful piece of work that encompasses so many different emotions.
As usual Bridget Williams Books have produced a number of short BWB Texts by Māori and Pasifika writers this year, including Two Hundred and Fifty Ways to Start an Essay about Captain Cook by Alice Te Punga Somerville, The Platform: The Radical Legacy of the Polynesian Panthers by Melani Anae and Imagining Decolonisation by heaps of people.
We also love: Takahē, a book of poetry by Stacey Teague; Polemic by essa may ranapiri (you can also get a personalised poem); Mana Whenua by Kauae Raro Collective; A bathful of kawakawa and hot water by Hana Pera Aoake.
Books for rangatahi and tamariki
Kotahi Rau Pukapuka have absolutely spoiled us this year with the translations of some classics, we now have Hare Pota me te Whatu Manapou and Nōu te ao, e hika, e! It’s so exciting to see these classic books have a te reo option.
Charlie Tangaroa and the Creature from the Sea by T K Roxborogh starts with the story of two boys, Charlie and Robbie, finding a ponaturi (mermaid) washed up on the beach. With the popularity of unicorns and mermaids at an all time high, it’s a fun adventure and a great way to teach tamariki about our own he iwi atua (supernatural beings).
The Pōrangi Boy by journalist Shilo Kino is about a 12-year-old boy, Niko, who resides in the small rural town of Pohe Bay and a taniwha named Taukere. Inspired by her own childhood and the protests at Ngāwhā prison, Kino wrote the book for kids like her who struggle to see themselves in our stories. A must for the teens and pre-teens in your life who are starting to question the world around them.
Flight of the Fantail by Steph Matuku is a book I read this year which is aimed at young adults. This book starts with a bus crash in remote Aotearoa and a bus full of teenagers begin to question if something more sinister is going on. This is exactly the kind of book I wish I got to read while growing up.
Legacy by Whiti Hereaka is another book I read this year aimed at young adults. Seventeen-year-old Riki gets hit by a bus and wakes up in 1915, Egypt. He’s living through his great-great-grandfather’s experiences in a Māori Contingent. A very interesting premise and a great way for rangatahi to learn about history.
Piri Pāua offer flashcards and posters both in te reo Māori and Sāmoan. The flashcards feature super cute pictures and come complete with a translation card to support your learning.
Who I’m buying this for: That niece or nephew I want to take to the zoo. Nothing like a bit of bribing to encourage more language learning!
Tākaro now has two expansion packs to freshen up your game! You match two symbols and shout out the word in te reo Māori to win. Although it states for ages four and up, it’s perfect for anyone with a bit of a competitive streak.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend that has already clocked Tākaro and beats me every time. Some fresh kupu ought to throw them off their game for at least a week.
HUNAARN offer contemporary children’s clothing with designs from te ao Māori. Some of the cutest kakahu out for tamariki and pēpi, I especially love the bib and hat sets.
Who I’m buying this for: Those parents who want their pēpi to be the most stylish one at Kohanga Reo.
Mōwai Design recently opened in October and sells shirts and crewnecks inspired by kaupapa Māori. I love the combination of te reo Māori with a good design, and especially love their Manaaki shirt.
Who I’m buying this for: That one older cousin who gives me their hand-me-downs, with the hope that it’ll be the gift that keeps on giving (itself back to me).
Positive Tees are Pasifika owned screen printers. They currently have Mariah Carey and Beyonce t-shirts which are absolutely iconic.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who insists she sings like Mariah after a few drinks. Sis, you absolutely do not but I will let you live out your Mariah fantasy in this shirt.
A:M Clothing is designed by two sisters, and they have kākahu for the whole whānau. The ‘DOITZ’ tees have a special place in my heart.
Who I’m buying this for: That one guy who insists he invented ‘doitz’. No you absolutely didn’t, but I’m excited to get a rise out of him when he opens this and insists someone is ripping him off.
brownboymagik is about to drop an album on Spotify, and has already dropped this sick hoodie. It gives me street fashion realness and is the kind of hoodie that instantly makes you feel cool.
Who I’m buying this for: Cool takatāpui whānau and that friend who easily pulls off big camo pants.
Nōku are a Hawke’s Bay based business that also sell kakahu for the whole whānau. They have beautiful t-shirts which they have styled perfectly on their Instagram, a great way to get a quick outfit idea.
Who I’m buying this for: That extra whānau that love to match, who are absolutely going to be rocking this at the beach for their annual family photoshoot.
Papa Clothing for the high-fashion kweens . Each garment is made-to-order by hand with a focus on natural materials and sustainability. These clothes are absolutely beautiful and the handmade aspect means you can email through any specific sizing requirements.
Who I’m buying this for: That mum who deserves something lush and definitely won’t buy it for herself.
Xoë Hall is a sick graffiti artist from Wellington. She puts her truly original designs on tees, plus you can buy her prints.
Who I’m buying this for: That mana wāhine warrior friend who skateboards, does art and has cool tattoos.
Karaoke Superstars does bright, out-of-it 90s bootleg style fashion with slogans that look like psychedelic death metal band names. Truly buzzy space Māori vibes.
Who I’m buying this for: that teenage niece or nephew that stopped speaking in full sentences when they hit puberty. They will still just grunt when they open this, but it will mean ‘oh my gosh, this is the best present and you’re the best aunty ever.’
We also love: Hunting Ground and Please Get Dressed for a special vintage piece; Layplan for glamorous essentials; the storytelling of Awa Hawaiki; Jeanine Clarkin’s unique ‘Mauri ora’ face masks; bad ass slogan tees from Morkins & Co; beautiful, high quality active wear from Hine.
Jewellery and Taonga
For independent jewellery and taonga makers, weavers and carvers, obviously Moananui-a-Kiwa has an embarrassment of riches and this is by no means an exhaustive lists. Research the makers in your rohe and buy directly.
Raueminz have contemporary Māori inspired jewellery/taonga. The mini poi earrings are so cute, and they have gift sets too which make gift buying even easier! The gift-packs also mean you could wear a different pair every day of the (working) week.
Who I’m buying this for: That nana who loves an earring and also loves hugging you tightly. Too many times I’ve been cut with an ornate earring – these are soft so risk-free.
Miss Maia has been recommended to me many times! They sell bright, acrylic earrings. They have so many beautiful colours to choose from, and some studs for those who prefer something a bit more subtle.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who got their ears pierced late in the game and now adores big, bold earrings. These will be a beautiful addition to the collection!
Turumeke Harrington is an artist and jeweller who has just dropped a range of kōura designs, playing on kōura meaning ‘crayfish’ and also the loaned noun for ‘gold’. The Simple Walking Legs studs and the Unaffordable ring (which is sort of affordable, for a treat) would make a truly special present.
Who I’m buying this for: Ātea editor Leonie Hayden, who definitely didn’t write this entry herself.
Our Taiao sell beautiful taonga, in pounamu and bone. They have taonga for all ages, including a Baby Pounamu gift set. They make beautiful work and create such special pieces.
Who I’m buying this for: That special person who makes every day better.
FLUFF Jewellery sell fun, acrylic earrings. I’ve been following this business for a while now and they create such cool pieces with customisable colour options. My current favourites are the ‘Kia ora’ earrings and the ‘Thoughtful Sun’ earrings.
Who I’m buying this for: That person that can do perfect eyeliner every time and effortlessly throw together cool outfits.
Ahua Creationz create amazing taonga from clay, featuring unique interpretations of traditional designs. Every piece is handmade and so stunning.
Who I’m buying this for: Someone unique who marches to the beat of their own drum.
Maha Ngā Kaupapa
Under the Bird sell so many wonderful things, home decor, scarves, sunglasses, jewellery and more. They have the option to create your own gift box so you really can personalise this gift for anyone.
Who I’m buying this for: That neighbour that had to spend all year listening to me screech my way through waiata practice.
InnoNative have been around a while but now they have an online store! bBased in Whangārei, they are a market for Māori creators and producers and sell kai, art, beauty products and many other things. I have my eye on the ipu wai (water bottle) and mosquito repellent.
Who I’m buying this for: That whānau that spring on you last minute they’re coming to yours for Christmas. This is a great one-stop shop for many whānau members – they’ll never know you weren’t prepared.
Panikeke sell headbands, headscarves, jewellery, lotion, soaps and many more things. I am absolutely obsessed with their earrings; not only do they have designer hoops they also have just about every type of earring you could imagine, and a build your own gift box option.
Who I’m buying this for: That whānau secret santa where you get to swap and steal each other’s gifts.
Koakoa Design make their own taonga but also rep other local creatives and their products. They have everything from Kirihimete cards, earrings, kawakawa balm, poi, lots of gift box options, and many more things. Another great stop to cross many names off the gift-buying list.
Who I’m buying this for: That workmate who has covered for me the few (many) times I was late this year. They had my back and now I’ll have theirs.
Moana Fresh represents 16 Māori and Pasifica artists making accessories, art, art disguised as homeware, and some very cool t-shirts. Everything on this website is so cool, so fashionable and I want it all. You can shop by artist or by category and there are so many great finds.
Who I’m buying this for: That friend who loves to loudly tell people where things come from, “Oh this? It’s actually from Moana Fresh.”