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Christchurch Millennium Waka Update

Christchurch Millennium Waka En Route to Permanent Home at Tamaki – Old Christchurch Town and Pa – 2 pages

21 June 2006

The arrival of the Christchurch Millennium waka on site at Ferrymead Village tomorrow (23 June, 2006) is a sure sign that work on the Tamaki Heritage Experiences development ‘Tamaki - Old Christchurch Town and Pa’ is full steam ahead.

That’s the word from Tamaki Heritage Experiences co-owner, Mike Tamaki. He says the arrival of the waka signals the next stage of the development.

“It is important to us that the waka is on site from here on – as it serves to really mark the next stage of our journey to see ‘Tamaki – Old Christchurch Town and Pa’ come to fruition. It is an exciting stage – the earthworks and contouring are now complete. Within the next few weeks the early stages of construction will be visible on our site. It will really begin to look every bit the colonial Maori village,” says Tamaki.

The 20m ceremonial Millennium waka belongs to the people of Christchurch. It was crafted by Riki Manuel as part of the city’s Millennium celebrations. The Tamaki brothers were granted custodianship of the waka in 2001 by a Christchurch City Council committee charged with finding a suitable home for the taaonga (treasure). The new development at Ferrymead was seen as ideal.

It had been looked after for the past two years at Rehua marae, until an appropriate building had been built to house the massive vessel. It was moved to the Council’s Sockburn Service Centre for a brief stopover last week. But as of tomorrow it will find permanent home at Ferrymead.

“Our first mission will be to commence some restorative and maintenance on the waka. Once that is complete the waka will take pride of place at the heart of our development for all Christchurch people to see,” explains Mike.

The first stage of the Tamaki development is expected to be complete at the Tamaki Ferrymead site by Christmas with an evening Colonial/Maori encounter on offer each night from early December.

“The experience will be quite different to our Rotorua experience, Tamaki Maori Village. Our Rotorua experience focuses upon pre-European stories, traditions and events. ‘Tamaki –Old Christchurch Town and Pa’ focuses solely upon the 30 or 40 years post the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. It is the early encounter between Maori and European – with all the fractious tensions and all the early signs of interdependence and respect between cultures that has helped carve the Aotearoa, New Zealand of today.”

‘Tamaki – Old Christchurch Town and Pa’ is set to become a powerful addition to the growing stable of Tamaki Touchstones emerging throughout New Zealand. With two experiences in Rotorua, the company also has a strong story focused upon early pioneer history at Glenorchy – 45 minutes out of Queenstown. It includes one of two consents up the Dart River by jetboat and shares stories of early Maori and European settler in the area.

“The waka move marks the beginning of a great new chapter in our Tamaki story of New Zealand. We know it is going to really make a difference to the way visitors encounter New Zealand – and more than that – how they encounter Christchurch,” explains Mike

The waka will depart its temporary home at the Sockburn Service Centre on Main South Road, for the Ferrymead Colonial Village at 9am. The journey is expected to take about half an hour.

ENDS

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