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Kauri sculpture donated to school

30 September 2021
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Tāne employed in the Whakairo workshop at Northland Region Corrections Facility (NRCF) are embracing mātauranga Māori in their rehabilitation pathway.

Ōturu School in Kaitaia was the recipient of their latest project in the recent handover of He taka mārama i a Matariki ki te Tai Ao, a pou signifying an enlightenment from Matariki to our World.

Intricately carved from a 45,000 year old kauri stump, the pou features unique design elements and patterns symbolic of Matariki, the Maramataka, Tangaroa, Tāne-nui-a-Rangi, Mana Wāhine and Mana Tāne. The pou also signifies the values of Ōturu School in the form of native birds, and rests on a base representative of Te Hiku o te Ika where Ōturu is located.

Each element has a significant meaning and whakapapa portraying essential knowledge to teach, support and nurture tamariki of Ōturu School during different phases of life.

Representatives from Ōturu School attended the unveiling including Tumuaki (Principal) Sacha Williams who said she couldn’t wait for their kids to see their taonga and thanked tāne for their mahi.

“You can see our values, the Maramataka, Matariki -  it represents everything we stand for. I just feel very lucky today,” says Sacha.

The kaiwhakairo (carver) behind the design concept says it was based on how the moon influences everything on our planet. Its gravitational forces affect the ebb and flow of our oceans, our rivers and our estuaries.

“All life on our planet is affected and influenced by the moon and Matariki, together they control our weather.”

“This taonga has been of immense significance for me and has brought me a great deal of clarity and truthfulness about my past, present and future.”

“This mahi has strengthened our cultural identities through the healing process, the restorative process, the learning process and the truthfulness process.  It’s shown me my true pathway and helped me to heal and repair major aspects of my life which plagued me for years.”

* In the picture above - Representatives of Ōturu School with Ngati Rangi kaumātua Albert Tana [front middle].