New Sculpture on Waiheke Walkway

New Sculpture on Waiheke Walkway

In December 2022 as the result of a collaboration with some of our neighbours we installed a new sculpture by Te Rongo Kirkwood on Walkway Waiheke.

The striking ‘Pou Ihi’ was first seen by the public at the 2022 Sculpture On The Gulf, and along with many other people, we were captivated by it.

The artist Te Rongo Kirkwood is an internationally renowned mixed-media artist who specialises in kiln formed, cold worked glass. Her work is testament to her love of fine detail, technical mastery and creative experimentation. She explores stories, concepts and themes inspired by the celestial and metaphysical, while also being influenced by the traditions of her Maori, English, and Scottish heritage. And although each piece has a powerful story and underlying meaning, it is also a celebration of the pure, innate, seductive beauty of its natural materials

Te Rongo’s art has been showcased around the world including exhibitions in Vancouver, San Francisco, and Canberra, as well as here at home in Aotearoa New Zealand – and now at Waiheke.

Here are few words from Te Rongo about her work and Maori whakapapa.

“In my practice I am interested in exploring archetypal symbolism that signals sacred ritual, and marks significant events in moments of time, that then become immortalised in memory.

Tamaki Makaurau Tribal Affiliations: Te Wai o Hua, Ngai Tai ki Tamaki, Te Kauwerau A Maki.

“I am a descendant of the Tainui tribes that once occupied Rangitoto, Motutapu and Waiheke islands. There is a story of ours about a duel that took place on Rangitoto between Hoturua of Tainui and Tamatekapua of the Arawa canoe.

Both claimed to be the first to have set up a tuahu or sacred altar, laying claim to ownership of the island. In the duel Tamatekapua was struck by Hoturua drawing blood, which ended the dispute. This became known as “Te Rangi i totongia a Tamatekapua” (the day Tamatekapua shed blood) today the site is known as Rangitoto.”

You can learn more about the artist at her website

Spectacular new visitor centre for Punakaiki

Spectacular new visitor centre for Punakaiki

Anyone who is lucky enough to have been there will tell you that Punakaiki is a very special place. And soon a spectacular new $26 million visitor centre at Dolomite Point will add to the experience.

The centrepiece will be a state of the art ‘exhibition experience’ created by The Gibson Group of Wellington.

Visitors will be treated to an extraordinary world of immersive sound and light displays, which tell the stories and history of Punakaiki from the tectonic forces that shaped the kaarst geology, to the manawhenua who discovered it; Pākehā explorers, early settlers, cavers, the creation of the Paparoa National Park, and the iconic Coast Road community.

Inside the exhibition they will be greeted by virtual wahine toa (woman warrior) with a wero (spear). This feature reflects the fact that Ngāti Waewae is one of the few iwi that allows women to perform the wero.

Project manager Phil Rossiter says the project has involved an immense amount of research, aided by Ngāti Waewae and local experts including caver Neil Silverwood and the late Punakaiki historian Les Wright.

Once completed, the building will be gifted to Ngāti Waewae by the Government.

Ngāi Tahu board member Kara Edwards said she took her grandchildren to Punakaiki recently and “there is nothing there to reflect the history of manawhenua or their presence there. But when this centre is built we will come back and my grandchildren will for the first time see themselves reflected in this place. The importance of that for Ngāti Waewae rangatahi cannot be measured.”

Manawhenua blessed the project last weekend at a ceremony to turn the first sod at the site and building is set to begin later this year. This ambitious project includes a Department of Conservation (DOC) information centre, community meeting room, and offices for Ngāti Waewae. It will also make Punakaiki safer and more accessible for all visitors, with a new car park and highway crossing, and walking and cycling paths.


Images courtesy of Sheppard & Rout LtdDolomite Point Redevelopment Project

Paparoa Track - NZ's newest Great Walk

Paparoa Track - New Zealand's newest Great Walk

It’s very good news for adventurous hikers and mountain bikers, because the 55km Paparoa Track, New Zealand’s newest Great Walk, is now fully open after a slip triggered by heavy rain caused its partial closure.

Modestly understating the tremendous work undertaken by his team to open the track again, Department of Conservation Greymouth operations manager Shane Hall said fixing the track had been “problematic” due to adverse weather and unstable ground conditions.

But now it’s all go, and the result is truly spectacular.

Billed as a two day bike ride or three-day hike the Paparoa Track takes visitors through some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery. It winds its way through thriving rainforests, dramatic kaarst limestone landforms, and over soaring rocky alpine tops.

Favorite sections of the Track include a “goblin forest” of wind-shaped silver beech, stunning vistas along the sandstone escarpment, and a magical waterfall on the descent to the Pororari River.

For hikers it’s graded as an Intermediate Great Walk/Easier tramping track, and for mountain bikers it levels up and earns an Advanced/Grade 4 rating.

The Pike 29 Memorial Track, which will branch off the Paparoa Track between Moonlight Tops Hut and Pororari Hut and head to the former mine site, will open once the Pike River Recovery Agency completes its work to re-enter the mine, and DOC finishes its memorial and interpretation centre.


Image and video courtesy of DOC

Vulcan – Deloitte Top 200 NZ Company of the Year

Vulcan – Deloitte Top 200 New Zealand Company of the Year

After two quiet years, the premier event on New Zealand’s business calendar was back. 

Companies and individuals were singled out for showing exceptional commercial strength, leadership, and agility in the face of the many challenges thrown at them by the pandemic. Outstanding results were achieved despite supply-chain disruptions, skills shortages, inflation, and other unusual and often extraordinary pressures.

Alongside very worthy winners in other categories, Vulcan Steel is immensely proud to be awarded ‘Company of the Year 2022’ in recognition of its exceptional performance for both the company and its shareholders.

Vulcan Steel was established by Peter Wells in 1995 and thrived as a privately-owned steel distribution company. Since its public listing in 2021 Vulcan has delivered total shareholder returns of 32 per cent, operating profit has increased by 82 per cent, and net profit has risen by 119 per cent!

The panel of high-profile judges convened by NZME head of business content Fran O’Sullivan said Vulcan Steel stood out due to its recent performance. Fran said:

“Vulcan Steel is a long-term New Zealand success story, led by an outstanding and committed leadership team. This year they also successfully acquired Ullrich Aluminium, which added to their range and helped to underpin further growth. Although the steel and metals markets have been buoyant, helping lift pricing, Vulcan’s performance has been exceptional.”

Tuwhare Creative Residency 2022

Recipients of the Tuwhare Creative Residency 2022 announced

Article by Rob Tuwhare

The Tuwhare Charitable Trust is proud to announce Wairere Tame Iti, Tracey Tawhiao and Ati Teepa as recipients of the inaugural Tuwhare Creative Residency at Rakitāmau, Kākā Point.

The opening of Hone’s crib at Rakitāmau, Kākā Point on October 21, 2022, marks the 100th Birthday of Hone Tuwhare. It also marks the beginning of an exciting future for the Tuwhare Trust as we embark on the next chapter of our journey to celebrate the Hone Tuwhare legacy through the Tuwhare Creative Residency programme.

The Tuwhare Creative Residency is the first residency to be developed in Aotearoa in the home and name of a Māori artist.

Tuwhare Trustee, Jeanette Wikaira says “as the inaugural Tuwhare creative residents, a Tame Iti, Tracey Tawhiao and Ati Teepa collaboration brings together intergenerational, multidisciplinary, experienced, and highly creative like minds. Tame, Tracey and Ati have collaborated over many years, they draw deeply from the Māori world, bringing together the poetics of Māori thinking with politically searing insight”.

The Tuwhare Trust is honoured to award Tame, Tracey and Ati this special inaugural residency and support their work in Hone’s home at Rakitāmau, Kākā Point, to bring indigenous storytelling to the world.

Wind Foiling - Wakatere and Paris Olympics

Wind Foiling - Wakatere and Paris Olympics

Takutai has had a long association with Windsurfing and its development in New Zealand.

Inspired by the Olympic dream, Takutai has lent its support to talented kiwis competing both on the world stage and at grass roots level, notably at the Wakatere Sailing Club where the next generation of superstar windsurfers are developing.

With Windsurfing being replaced by Wind Foiling at the Paris Olympics in 2024, Takutai has donated four sets of Wind Foiling equipment for use in training. We hope it’s the start of another golden age in wind powered board riding for New Zealand.

Ngāhine Pūkōrero - Brave New Voices Poetry Festival

Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Festival in the USA.

Four brilliant young women took on the world – becoming the first kiwis to compete at Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival

Watch their story on 7 Sharp here.

Rob Tuwhare’s Granddaughter, Manaia, started writing at school and was part of four friends at Western Springs College that cleaned up NZ and Australia Spoken Word, then Los Vegas at the 2019 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. (We donated towards their trip.)

Manaia now works in schools via Action Education (Youth line) talking to students about writing / spoken word.

Big Thank You from Ngāhine Pūkōrero
Kia ora Whānau Tomorrow Ngāhine Pūkōrero will depart from Aotearoa and embark on the journey to compete on the world stage of Brave New Voices 2019

We just want to offer a huge thank you and send out a big mihi to you all of you who gave so generously and enabled this to happen. We appreciate you so much.

Thank you so much for your belief in these incredible young women and what they have to say. It takes team work to make the dream work and we would not be here without you, we cannot thank you enough.

So we depart for LA tomorrow afternoon when we arrive we will spend some time sightseeing, rehearsing and acclimatising then on the night of the 16th Ngāhine Pūkōrero will feature at Da Poetry Lounge which we are very excited about. Da Poetry Lounge is the largest and longest running weekly venue in Hollywood’s history, and the largest weekly venue in the country. This is an amazing opportunity and will mean the team will be able to test their new material on an American audience.

Then on the morning of the 17th we drive up to Las Vegas to Brave New Voices for the opening night. The team will take part in workshops on the 18th then the quarter finals begin on the 19th. We will do our best to live stream our performances and keep everyone up to date on our Facebook page so please follow us on Action Education Inc.

We have a small thank you from the girls here, PASSWORD: Lets Go!

Proud to support the Orewa Longboard Club

Takutai is proud to support the Orewa Longboard Club

This summer Takutai has been involved with the Orewa Longboard Club. Recently they hosted a luncheon to pass on their appreciation of our efforts.

They use the Orewa Surf Lifesaving building as their base. If you are looking for a visit down memory lane then we would recommend a meal at the restaurant.

In the 60’s and 70’s many local NZ surf clubs had such facilities- it certainly makes for a lovely environment.

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

Benefactors deliver young sailors' wish list

Benefactors deliver young sailors' wish list

The days of borrowing boats to compete at inter-school sailing competitions will soon be over for the Waiheke High School sailing team.

Thanks to the generosity of two benefactors, the students will start the New Year with four virtually new 420 class vessels. The purchase comes after Takutai Trust, a private trust committed 10 facilitating Waiheke youth’s path into water sports, and Half Moon Bay Marina together donated around $60,000 to the school’s sea sports academy.

Coach Robin Kenyon says the two-person boats will have been used in just one regatta, the Youth Sailing World Championships to be held in China Dec 2017. Compared to their cost if purchased brand new the deal is “at a heavily discounted price” he says. “We are looking at an end of December delivery and they should be on the water mid-January”.

The donated funds will also cover the cost of fitting new sails, which are not included in the deal, and the purchase of a Sunburst yacht and other equipment.

Combined with two other Sunburst yachts the team hope to continue borrowing from the local Sea Scouts for training. The I5 or so students involved in the school’s academy will be well equipped and should be match-ready when the inter-school regatta season nears its peak next Easter.

The team will continue to train off Oneroa beach on Tuesday evenings from 5pm to 7pm in the lead up to the competitions.

Rob Brennan – Gulf News 9th November 2017