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Ko wai mātou?

Te whakawhanaungatanga o te ao,

me ona puoro – ĀIO!

Mauri mai ō tīpuna , 

mauria  mi ō tikanga

mauria mai tō mana motuhake – ĀIO!

nga huarahi akonga hou no tātou katoa


Who are we?

A uniting of people in the world 

and their musics

Hold onto your ancestors 

Hold on to your customs

Hold onto your culture

New pathways of learning for us all

HII, HAA, Peace


What is the Global Ethno Movement?

Ethno is JM International’s program for folk, world and traditional music, aimed at young musicians (18-30). Founded in 1990 in Falun, Sweden, Ethno’s mission is to revive, invigorate and disseminate our global traditional musical heritage. Today Ethno is present in over 40 countries, running a series of annual international music camps, workshops and concerts that promote peace, tolerance and understanding.


At the core of Ethno lies its democratic peer-to-peer learning approach, where young musicians teach each other the music from their countries and cultures. This non-formal pedagogy provides a unique opportunity for young people from across the globe to come together and engage through music, in a manner characterised by respect, generosity and openness.

Whakapapa of Ethno New Zealand


In 2017, the global Ethno Movement made its way to New Zealand, led by a dedicated group of creative change-makers, guided by George Te Aroha Kahi (Tumanako). With pre-established global connections, we embarked on a journey to solidify our ties with the founders of Ethno, Ethno Sweden. This marked the first time that Aotearoa was represented at Ethno Sweden.

Whetu-Marama Rikihana, Isaac Kirkwood-Smith, and Jeremy Hantler traveled to Scandinavia to participate in the world's oldest and largest Ethno camp, joining approximately 100 participants from across the globe. They shared their music and absorbed wisdom from others. This incredible exchange became possible due to the generosity of Ethno Sweden, which sponsored the flights and accommodations for all three participants.

When the concept of Ethno was introduced to New Zealand in collaboration with Māori, particularly those connected to the land where our first Ethno event was held, an idea emerged to symbolise this exchange of energy with a mauri stone.


Whetumarama Rikihana-Kaihoro from Ngati Poua was selected to ensure that this exchange was conducted with utmost respect during the 2017 exchange.


The concept was born from Te Rangi Kaihoro's inspiration, with support from Lorna Rikihana and George Te Kahi, as well as our own young organization at that time.

What is Mauri

Mauri is the belief that all objects can contain life force to varying degrees, particularly stones, which can traverse generations unaltered. "Mau" signifies holding, while "ri" conveys the unseen or hidden aspects. Therefore, the intangible principles, aspirations, and whakapapa (genealogy) of Ethno itself passing to New Zealand became tangible through the presence of a physical reminder in the form of a stone. In my personal interpretation, mauri grows as more significant stories (kōrero) become attached to an object.


Passing taonga (treasures) between hands in a mindful way enriches the object's history, reverence, and mauri.

What stone was used and why

The chosen stone, Onewa from Kaiaua, held significance for three reasons:

  1. It was a locally sourced resource for the Ngati Poua people, with whom we were exchanging ideas, and who were graciously hosting the first Ethno event on Waiheke Island.

  2. Onewa is durable, resonant, and prized for its use in crafting toki (adzes), patu (weapons), and various other valuable implements in a neolithic culture. Before the discovery of greenstone and steel in New Zealand, and for some time after, Kaiaua was renowned for its high-quality onewa.

  3. In both tribal knowledge and Western ornithological study, this stone is gathered in the beak of the kuaka (bar-tailed godwit) bird during its migratory journey to and from Siberia. It is believed that the high levels of lithium and other trace elements assist the bird with its migration. These stones are dropped on the beach upon landing, and a suitable replacement is gathered before departure. What better stone to journey to Sweden?

Tuku Atu, Tuku Mai (Reciprocity)

When Ethno Sweden chose to exchange a stone of equal value, it symbolized mutual respect. The stone, now known as the 'Ethno NZ Mauri Stone,' is made from Dalarna stone, sourced from the region of the same name where Ethno Sweden currently takes place. This prized stone for carving, with its distinctive pink color, has been used for trophies and more. When we pass the Ethno Mauri stone around each year, we acknowledge that Ethno is an international kaupapa (concept) from Sweden, entrusted to us to plant, nurture, and grow in New Zealand.

Meet The Team

hanna temp.jpg

Hanna Wiskari Griffiths

Event Organiser


Sarah Macdonald

Event Organiser


Vanya Howell-Kress

Camp Manager


Will Tekatoha

Community Outreach and Event Organisation


Tristan Hancock

Event Organiser


Jeremy Hantler

Event Organiser


In Loving Memory of Our Kaumātua, George Te Aroha Kahi (Tumanako)
September 1950 - December 2020


Our deep connection is a tribute to the enduring love, profound vision, and unwavering support of the late George Te Aroha Kahi. George was a cherished friend and mentor within the Ethno New Zealand whānau. His guidance, since its inception in 2017, was pivotal to Ethno New Zealand's journey and he supported our relationship with Piritahi Marae.

The success of Ethno New Zealand today owes much to George's kindness and foresight. Conversations with George revealed his keen understanding of how Ethno New Zealand could nurture traditional musicians in Aotearoa before they ventured onto the global stage.

In honoring George's memory, we recognize the lasting impact he had on us all, leaving an indelible mark on Ethno New Zealand. His spirit lives on as we continue to celebrate music and culture in the manner he so passionately championed.

With love always - The Ethno New Zealand whānau

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