New walkway carving revealed

New walkway carving revealed August

A stately new carving now presides over part of the Te Ara Hura walkway.
The intricately carved Pouwhenua, located at the top of a section of grape vines off Korora Road, took approximately 400 hours to complete and was unveiled at daybreak on Saturday 18 August 2018.
Around 45 people gathered for the karakia and waiata. and as the sun’s light started to emerge from the east, the pou was revealed and named Horowhenua after a man who rescued his aged father, chief Paoa and returned him home. To conclude the unveiling, a hymn was sung, and the blessing ended with a karakia followed by mihi and waiata.
After the blessing, Peter and Mary Wells of Takutai Trust spoke about their inspiration behind commissioning the carving and of the artist, Tristan Marler, who worked on the piece.

“We moved to the property, which had not been permanently lived in for a couple of years, in 2015. “The garden was ready for some TLC to return it to Its former glory;” says Peter.

During the next 18 months, much of which was spent in the garden, Peter and Mary worked out how popular the walkway (situated on an easement in their property) was – especially with tourists.

During the next 18 months, much of which was spent in the garden, Peter and Mary worked out how popular the walkway (situated on an easement in their property) was –  especially with tourists.
They wanted to create something. unique for passers-by, so they commissioned Component, a renowned street artist to paint a shipping container on the property to add a bit of extra colour and attraction to the walk.

“We’d worked with iwi before, and we thought it would be a great idea to have a pou on the highpoint of the walkway. We discussed it with carver Tristan Marler and spoke with the local iwi Ngati Paoa who were on board with the idea and were happy to be part of it”.

Typically, there is a story around Pouwhenua, especially such intricately carved ones, and Morehu Wilson of Ngati Paoa says that the pou depicts Horowhenua carrying his father on his back safely home.

The Wells are pleased people from all over the world will be able to encounter the carving and to learn about Horowhenua.
I would say more than 50 percent of people walking the track aren’t from New Zealand, so the opportunity to come across Māori culture and art is great,” says Peter.

Finding the right piece of totara was extremely difficult for artist Tristan Marler who studied whakairo rākau (Māori wood carving) in Rotorua and worked on the pou for two years. During which time he and his partner had their daughter.

“l am humbled to have been a part of this Kaupapa with the support of my family, Ngati Paoa, and Peter and Mary Wells who commissioned the pou; says Tristan

Like everyone who gathered to watch the morning light illuminate the new Pouwhenua, Peter says he’s enthralled by the result. How someone can start with just a lump of wood and a chisel and produce something so striking is amazing.”

Sophie Boladeras – Gulf News 23rd August 2018