Meet the man carving a taonga for every child in state care

December 9, 2022

Nelson-based pounamu carver Timoti Moran is on a mission; he wants to carve a taonga for every child in state care.

He's already gifted 300, but there are a lot more to go.

"Pounamu is a living wairua," he told Seven Sharp. "It's solidified so that we can wear it so that the wairua is there all the time.

"It's a connection that we have with pounamu, that everyone whom I have met who has ever been gifted pounamu has that same feeling.

"It's going to give our tamariki a treasure that is theirs."

Moran said that, even at 100 taonga a month, it's a 10-year project. So, they're getting more people on board - particularly rangatahi who have experience in state care - and they've saved up to buy more machines.

It's a partnership between Moran's business, Taonga By Timoti and VOYCE, an organisation run by people who've been in care.

The idea was born when Moran heard VOYCE founder Tupua Urlich speak.

"When he gave his korero, it was so powerful," Moran said.

"You know, there would have been 400 in the auditorium and I know I was crying and I'm sure everyone else was too.

"And a few weeks later, we decided that, hey bro, we want to do more for you."


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