2010 Maori Art - Heitiki
Celebrate New Zealand’s indigenous culture through the release of New Zealand Post’s first Maori art legal tender coin since the sellout Pukaki coin of 2004.
In 2010, we are proud to honour heitiki – an internationally recognised and lasting symbol of Maori art.
Heitiki can be made from a variety of materials, but the preferred choice is Pounamu which evokes beauty and symbolises longevity. As an ornament, the heitiki was traditionally worn around the neck by Maori of high rank and handed down through generations, thus conveying authority, status and mana (power).
Traditionally, heitiki is regarded with great respect by Maori because of its ancestral links. It signals not only the appreciation of Maori heritage, but also pride in the culture. Heitiki is a genuine taonga (treasure) that belongs to Aotearoa (New Zealand), and is deeply ingrained in the traditional art of Maori society.