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Tuku Taonga at Awataha Marae


Tuku Taonga at Awataha Marae


Let carving commence. North Shore City Mayor George Wood with kaumatua Bert McLean inspecting the totara slabs at Awataha Marae. The timber will be fashioned into a series of carvings for the marae led by internationally renowned Maori artist, carver and local resident Arnold Wilson. NSCC supported this project with funding from Community Liaison's Community Facilities Fund.

A massive totara log bound for Awataha Marae in North Shore City Te Raki Pae Whenua will soon resound to the tapping of renowned Maori carver Arnold Wilson's mallet.

The log has been chosen to become the centrepiece of the wharenui or meeting house at the marae, and will be formed over the next few months into an imposing feature at Awataha.

A ceremony "Tuku Taonga", the giving of a special gift, to recognise the artwork and the support provided by North Shore City Council, was held at the marae on November 25.

Chairperson of North Shore City's community services and parks committee, Margaret Miles, says the council last month granted $60,000 from its community facilities fund to the Awataha Marae Trust, which can now complete the final stage of the wharenui by beginning work on the carvings.

"The completion is significant as it will then allow the marae to be used for the full range of cultural events such as tangihanga (funerals).

"Awataha is unique in that the carvings will fuse traditional and contemporary art forms and incorporate a story of all groups, tribes and peoples of the North Shore, Te Raki Pae Whenua, coming together to be represented.

"Most other wharenui carvings tell the story of the whakapapa origins of a particular Iwi or hapu," says Councillor Miles.

Internationally recognised Maori artist and carver Arnold Wilson, a North Shore resident, will lead the project. He has been involved with Awataha since its beginnings.


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