I recently produced the art work above to honour this special place and incorporated some of our very precious and unique Paua Shell into the design to represent the sea.
I am also proud to be involve in the exclusive and important part that Ariki New Zealand play in the history of our island paradise and showcasing the unique Paua Shell Jewellery to the world.

Filigree Hook Pendant


The beautiful kowhaiwhai or scroll like patterns on this classic fish hook pendant are designed to represent the importance and significance of family, relationships and connections.
To New Zealand’s native people the Maori, The fish hook symbol is said to represent prosperity and safe travel over water.
Our clever designers have incorporated both the kowhaiwhai filigree and fish hook motif into this one design.

To me the gorgeous Paua Shell Cabochon on this piece also perfectly captures the colours of the sea surrounding our island paradise country.
Traditionally Maori were very reliant on the bounty they caught from the sea to survive. It constituted a large amount of their daily food needs and with it Maori flourished as a people. Maori had a very strong connection to Tangaroa, god of the sea and attributed this abundance to him.

Fish Hook Pendants

I can only guess, but think that because of the strong connection to Tangaroa, wearing a fish hook over water would ensure safe passage because it shows a level of respect to Tangaroa for the bounty he provided.

The Kowhaiwhai pattern itself is stylised on the Koiri traditional Maori pattern which means to flourish.
I wear this special unique time honoured New Zealand Jewellery piece to signify my special connection to the sea by which I live and the abundance of sea food or Kaimoana that my Maori neighbours so generously provide.

Filigree Hook Pendant GP553


Matariki is the name the Native New Zealand People, Māori give to a cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. Every winter the rising of the stars of Puaka (Puanga) and Matariki herald the end of the lunar year and the start of the next within the Māori World.

Traditionally Māori viewed the rising of Matariki as the time to farewell those who have passed in the previous year, celebrate the arrival of the New Year and prepare for the coming year in the custom of the local people. But it was also a happy event – crops had been harvested and seafood and birds had been collected. With plenty of food in the storehouses, Matariki was a time for singing, dancing and feasting.

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.
Matariki, or Māori New Year celebrations are very popular. It is a time for honouring the ‘New Zealand Thanksgiving’. A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.

The stars have always been a large part of Māori life. Planting, hunting, harvesting, gathering and navigation were all guided by the stars. Over the past twenty years there has been a rejuvenation in these practices. Māori have turned back to traditional practices guided by the stars.

Star Stud Earrings

I would like to honour this age old tradition myself by telling you a little about our special pieces of unique New Zealand Jewellery in our range which are stylised on cosmic influences.

PE215/PE115 – Star Stud Earrings
JE215 Star Stud Earrings – Greenstone

The cold clear crisp winters nights here in New Zealand means it is the perfect time for star-gazing. Dark, clear skies; unique celestial features and otherworldly landscapes make stargazing in New Zealand a breathtakingly magical experience.

Star Stud Earrings PE215 Star Stud Earrings (Jade) JE215

In the heart of the South Island the sky is so clear and vast that millions of stars seem to appear right before your eyes.

Unique to the Mackenzie Region, the clear skies found in this part of the world are like nothing else in New Zealand. Very limited light pollution means the views of the night sky seem to stretch on as far as the eye can see.

In 2012, the 4300 square kilometre area was declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, with light pollution strictly controlled in the area. It is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of only eight in the world. It has been labelled as one of the best stargazing sites on earth.

I have been lucky enough to visit this region and seeing this sky through a telescope was an experience unlike any other. Keen stargazers in this region see amazing constellations that can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, including the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way
The absolute best place to observe the celestial fireworks of a meteor shower is Lake Tekapo in the South Island of New Zealand. This idyllic lake side town can boast one of the darkest and starriest night sky’s in the world. Tens of thousands of people flock here annually to see the southern stars and transient phenomena such as aurorae, meteor showers and the zodiacal light in all their pristine glory.
I urge you all to the time to look up, study the galaxies and stars, and feel connected to the awesome history of the universe.
My delicate wee Star Stud earrings always sparkle and shimmer like these stars when I wear them and remind me of the truly precious and unique experience I had star gazing in the Mackenzie region.


Meanings Behind Maori Pendant Designs

Koru (Jade) - NZ Design Pendant ZGP14

Broad strong strokes of paint on a scroll or rich blue-black ink patterns gleaming under the skin’s surface, Maori designs command attention in each and every form they take. Before the adoption of written word, Maori tribe’s people utilised materials like bone, wood, stone and jade.

A large number of the etchings represent aspects of the origin of mankind, how the animals came into existence and how sacred the relationship between nature and man is.

The deep respect that the Maori have for nature is evident in their preservation of classic tribal designs. The intricate swoops and spheres communicate ancient tribal tales dating back generations and are often worn in the form of pendants.

Ariki Jewellery uses Nephrite Jade and Paua for pendant designs, such as:

  • Koru or Spiral Design: The Koru or spiral design represents a fresh fern frond as it unfolds. As the frond unravels, the Maori believe it unleashes its purity out into the world. Growth, peace, tranquility and new beginnings are also associated with the Koru pendant design.
  • Circle Design: The Circle design invokes imagery of the Circle of Life, endless and without any defined beginning or end. The seamless movement of the planets and the stars above are represented by the circle etching. There is a mutual existence in which all beings, humans, plants and animals, share a sacred bond.
  • Twist Design: In Maori culture the twist represents the concept of eternity, with each twist portraying the various paths an individual takes in the pursuit of love and life. If one chooses to gift a friend or loved one with a single twist jade pendant, they are emphasising the deep eternal bond the duo shares in friendship, love and loyalty.

Other traditional representations of Maori culture a in jewellery design include the depiction of sea creatures like turtles, whales and dolphins.

As a New Zealand Jewellery firm, Ariki Jewellery specialises in the use of stones and shells like Greenstone or Nephrite Jade and Paua Shell.

New Zealand Jewellery: A Precious Memory

In terms of sophisticated, vintage, stylistic and modern jewellery, every woman has her distinct signature style and favorite item. New Zealand is a country located between Antarctica to the south and Australia to the north. The country has a population of 5 million and they are famous on their stunning scenery and international sport division. Apart from this, New Zealand is also well-known for their Maori jewellery, Maori cravings, Maori culture and their indigenous people called Tangata Whenua.

Maori are popular in different parts of the world for their remarkable carvings which usually diverge from sculptures to jewellery. The Maori jewellery can also be carved from various sources but the most common are shell, wood, bone and jade. Once the jewellery piece is engraved, there is a unique meaning behind the chosen design and shape. Here, you will discover and learn the different meanings behind the commonly used Maori designs.


  • Hei MatauThis is also known as fish-hook. This design signifies prosperity. In the present time, it symbolizes good health, determination and strength. Aside from this, it offers safe adventure over water. This is one of the reasons why Hei Matau is a very popular piece of New Zealand jewellery for those people who are traveling overseas.
  • Hei Tiki This jewellery piece of Maori is usually represents a good fortune charm that is being passed from one generation to another. It is considered as the talisman of Maori people and of New Zealand. The wearer of this Maori design expected to have character and strength.
  • Circle The path of life with no end or no beginning.
  • Pikopiko Pikopiko is Māori for young curled shoots of ferns.
  • Triple or Double Twist This is recognized as the most famous Maori design. The single twist speaks of individual people, the triple and double twist refers to the joining of cultures or people for eternity through lows and highs. They stay bonded by loyalty and friendship for life.
  • Single Twist This is also known as the joining of two individuals. Even if they move away, their life’s journey will have their respective paths meet again.
  • Koru Based on the fern frond, this symbolizes the creation. It signifies peace, strength, growth and new life. The circle shape of this design helps to express the perpetual movement idea while the interior coil recommends reappearance to the original point.

Maori Designs for Jewellery and Carving

  • Koropepe It is a symbol of new beginnings and youth, prosperity and abundance.
  • Turtle It is the sea navigation symbol.
  • Whale It symbolizes protection.
  • Dolphin It also represents protection and the wearer has alike-mindedness with the sea.
  • Heart This design usually indicated generosity, compassion, emotional balance and love.
  • Drop It signified pride, unity, independence and strength. This design is also known as excellent comfort carving.

Indeed, New Zealand jewellery is a precious memory to all people.

For more information click here to explore more.


Vicky’s blog: “The Chief”: 100% manufactured in New Zealand

This week I took some time out from my busy role to speak to the Matriarch and Patriarch of the “Ariki family” The wonderful owners of Ariki, and glean a little back ground information on the company.

I was interested to find out that the name “Ariki” is from the Maori language and means “The Chief”.

Personally I think this a very apt description of a company which was founded in 1932 and continues to be one of the world’s most successful designer/manufacturer of Paua shell jewellery. It is also one of the largest jewellery manufacturers in New Zealand.

It is certainly “The Chief” when it comes to creating beautiful handcrafted jewellery.

They both pride themselves on the fact that their products are 100% manufactured in New Zealand. The Paua itself is a natural renewable resource entirely sustainable and of course is harvested from the pristine waters off the coast lines of “Clean – Green” New Zealand.

Ariki uses only the highest quality Paua shell which comes from the oldest Paua with the thickest shells. “We select the best colour shells and carve and work them into jewellery that shows the Paua in the best possible way. Each shell has a different colour range, which makes each piece of jewellery absolutely unique”.

Here’s to another 83 years in business Mum and Dad!

Click to see Maori themed items