Native Woodcraft taking on the world

By Aroha Treacher
  • Northland

Jared Mulinder, owner and operator of ‘Native Woodcraft’, a family business in the small town of Dannevirke, specialises in Māori carvings and souvenirs for the tourism market and is making a global name for himself and his blossoming business. His pieces are sought after interntaionally and are in such high demand that they can barely keep up with orders.

One thing about Jared is that he prides himself on his Te Atiawa heritage and tries to put as much of that into each Māori souvenir he breathes life into.

Jared says that using the medium of wood as a means of expression has “always been in the veins” since he left high school and took up his first job at the family business “so I've been here for 16 years.”

Demand for his products are high in the tourism market, with around 80% of everything made aimed at the overseas punter, the factory produces around 1000 pieces a month.

“It's just neat seeing stuff you've made in places and you get a real kick out of it.”

His pieces have found their way into the hands of a Saudi prince and most recently a personal request from the United Nations for one of his waka.

For Jared, a self-taught craftsman himself, he remains very much humbled that his small factory has such a huge clientele, and in fact, is taking Māori art to the world.