soraya mcconachy

Art Photographer and Weaver of Kete Whakairo and Whatu Kākahu in Te Tau Ihu, Aotearoa, New Zealand

soraya mcconachy

Art Photographer and Weaver of Kete Whakairo and Whatu Kākahu in Te Tau Ihu, Aotearoa, New Zealand

Kia ora,

I am a weaver and art photographer of Te Atiawa, Ngāti Rārua and Ngāti Tama descent, currently living in Te Tau Ihu-The Top of the South, Aotearoa, New Zealand.

My interests range from toi Maori to art photography, multicultural and multimedia artforms, nature and music.

Connections with my six grown children, their spouses and babies have reinforced my passion to uphold the sanctity of life. This is reflected in my mahi.

My creative journey includes two years working as a self employed silversmith and bonecarver, in the 1980s. During this time I won a highly commended award during a nationwide jewellery exhibition at Auckland's Compendium Gallery.

My daughter Dara and I have both been privileged to learn online as students of Veranoa Hetet through the Hetet School of Maori Art. This puts us in regular contact with a united, nurturing and supportive community of likeminded people.

Each weaving retreat that I've attended has reinforced my desire to stay connected. I hope to elevate my standard of weaving upholding and maintaining this for future generations.

It is such a joy to be weaving with my daughter...beautiful memories of togetherness.

Dara speaks of teaching her children how to weave...and the most valuable thing to me is -though we may not have a physical house, we do have this place in time or space where we are connected with one another.

I am passionate about each of my Maori, Fijian and European heritages. Also restoration and healing of the nations- justice, freedom, income generation and ethical fairtrade.

I aspire to live as an enviromentally friendly minimalist, and place a high value on spiritual matters and people, especially my immediate whānau.

As I stroll along beachsides, gleaning sandy treasures, or savouring sweet ocean fragrances, I emerge newly inspired. The beauty of native birdsong often lifts my thoughts heavenward, ocean waves and sea breezes combine to refresh the mind. I think, listen, sing, pray and weave-weaving in response to our Creator's voice - an echo. It's about relationship.

Thank you for visiting me here. This is me, with the thoughts and values that I impart into my mahi. Whenever I weave for a customer, that person will be in my thoughts. I seek to enrich their lives with a beautiful bespoke and timeless taonga...

Please take a minute longer to watch this video, then continue listening to the music of our beautiful beachside while you browse through my gallery.

Nga mihi,


  • Education
    • The Hetet School of Maori Arts 2016 -present
    • Get Your Art Sold! 8 Week Bootcamp- Lillian He2020
    • Masterpricing Your Art, 2022- Lillian Hetet-Owen
    • Silversmith and Bonecarver, 1984-1986