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How To Find Harakeke To Weave With


The best flax to weave with can be found in the front and back yards of people's properties. It is usually protected from the elements by the fences and buildings. This helps to keep the leaves pliable for weaving.

Tui on Harakeke



Take pre-written notes in your pocket to leave in letterboxes of gardens where you see flax.

Keep it simple:

'If you would ever like your harakeke/flax trimmed. I will do it for you. Please text me on ____________ (I use the word 'trimmed' as the 'cut' sounds too much



If I take from a garden regularly, I like to take the owners a koha, a gift that tells them how appreciative I am. Sometimes I take them something that I have woven from their harakeke with chocolates or something in.

A kono or rourou is great for this. They really appreciate that, especially if they are 'new' to weaving.

Kono woven by Dara Barton - student of Veranoa Hetet at Hetet School of Māori Art Photo credit: Soraya McConachy
Kono holding kumara and lemons



I put the word out on facebook that you're looking for flax to weave.If you're gathering from public areas, such as parks and reserves,

it's a good idea to approach your local council or the Department of Conservation as you may need consent.



If you go to gather and see that someone has already gathered from a plant then it is best to leave the plant to the weaver who is gathering from it.It's not good practise to go into another area to gather materials if you're not from that area. You may be inadvertently gathering other weavers materials.

Try to make contact with other weavers in that area first. Social media provides opportunities to make connections.

If you're a member of the Hetet School weaving community, you can also reach out to other members to check about collection from Pa Harakeke you come across or even to collaborate on growing and gathering harakeke together.

When harakeke is in flower, it's good to leave the birds undisturbed to enjoy the fruits of this time of year. Some iwi have tikanga (protocols) around seasonal gathering and place a rahui (a time of prohibition) on gathering to allow the plant time to rejuvenate before being harvested.



You will need to carry a sharp stanley knife or something to cut the leaves with so remember to be discreet when you're walking down the streets with your cutting implement.

Careful concealment will avoid inadvertently frightening or injuring others

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