E Nga mana, e reo, e nga karangatanga maha - Tena koutou katoa.
Ko Rueben Tipene toku ingoa, he uri au no nga iwi o Ngapuhi me Ngai Tahu hoki.
My name is Rueben Tipene, I’m a descendant of the Ngapuhi and Ngaitahu tribes.
I was brought up with my Maori heritage and always enjoyed “Nga Mahi Toi” Maori arts. From a young age I would always be drawing. One particular day a Maori carver noticed some of my drawings and said to me, “If you can draw, you can carve” From that point on I would look for anything to carve, from native wood scrounged from demolition sites, to shells out of the sea or lime stone from a hillside.
However I always wanted to carve “Pounamu” green stone, but never had the opportunity or resources to do so, until I met Kerry Thompson from “Thompson Carvers”
Kerry is a very close friend of mine and has been instrumental in not only mentoring me but encouraging me to make carving my career.
Today, I now have my own studio which humbly provides for me and my whanau.