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The Insider's Guide to New Zealand - - NORTH ISLAND -

The source of the flax that Pare­tuiri Simeon weaves into harakeke bas­kets, fig­ure-hug­ging gar­ments and del­i­cate flow­ers will al­ways be a se­cret. “It’s like a favourite fish­ing spot. Every weaver has their own place. It be­comes like your baby,” says the 55-year-old Tu­rangi weaver, artist, mother of six and grand­mother of 11. Her work is dis­played at Pi­hanga Gallery in Tu­rangi, a co­op­er­a­tive run by lo­cal artists in­clud­ing jewellers, painters, pho­tog­ra­phers, pot­ters and felt work­ers. Each piece is in­flu­enced by the lo­cal artists’ sur­round­ings. Pare­tuiri says she weaves “mem­o­ries, colours and tex­tures” of her child­hood at her grand­par­ents’ home where she grew up. Her aun­tie passed on her weav­ing secrets, which she in turn is pass­ing on to her mokop­una. The gallery is in Tu­rangi Town Cen­tre, open every day. face­book.com/pi­hanga­gallery

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