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Te Taumata Art Gallery presents - Save Ngawha!

Te Taumata Art Gallery presents

Save Ngawha!

Friday, October 10th to November 8th

Ko Moi te maunga (Moi is the mountain).
Ko Ngawha te tangata (Ngawha is the person)
He aroaro wahine (The passage to the womb of a woman)
He ara mahana (He ara mahana)

“The Ngawha waters are taonga tuku iho. Treasured for their healing qualities for generations. These waters have been shared by local Maori for generations. They are waahi tapu and sacred to the people. Our tupuna fought and died on this whenua. We the Kaitiaki of Ngawha must protect this taonga.”

Ngawha is a truly unique place. There is only one other place in the world with hot springs of the same type as the curative properties of Ngawha are legendary. The local area is full of amazing features such as fossilized kauri leaves, old mercury mines and native ecologies. In the face of it’s tremendous history and significance as a place of deep spiritual importance, it is being bulldozed to build a new prison.

Save Ngawha is an exhibition of drawings, paintings, and objects made by artists who have come together to expose the truth, without self-consciousness, about what is happening within our justice industry. They are part of an organised campaign to stop the construction of a new 350-bed prison at Ngawha, a campaign that has already seen a community torn apart by expensive legal battles and the watershed politics of a government that continues to make prisons one of the fastest growing bureaucracies in the country.

Across the country, farmland, wildlife, rural people and community hopes for economic prosperity are being bulldozed to build new prisons. The exhibition is a call to re-organise our priorities as a nation. Through a wide variety of styles and imagery, the exhibition is set to represent the pure expression of the kaitiaki of Ngawha.

The event is a potluck and family oriented occasion. Koha or donations will be welcomed during the opening which is to begin at 4:00p.m. on Friday, October 10th at Te Taumata Art Gallery. The gallery is located on 124 Symonds St, Auckland. Wilson parking is available on Glenside Crescent.

Peter Kaa
Te Taumata Art Gallery (09) 358 0608

Historical and Cultural Significance of Ngawha

Mana Whenua During one of his frequent adventures, the high priest of Te Arawa waka, the tohunga Ngatoro-i-te-Rangi, went to Tongariro and was caught in the snow. He then summoned his two sisters, Te Pupu and Te Hoata to his aid. According to oral tradition, the sisters arrived from Hawaiiki in the form of a taniwha. The taniwha emerged in Ngawha, then Rotorua and finally Taupo - creating the "fire waters" of these areas. This story links the geothermal areas in Aotearoa and also those of the Pacific "Ring of Fire."

Waiwhariki Te Uri-o-Hua and Takotoke hold the proposed prison site as wahi tapu and the Ngawha Stream as awa tapu because the bones of their ancestors have not been removed since they fell in the second Waiwhariki battle (about 1793). There had been ill-feeling between Te Huki of Ngati Hineira, Ngati Rangi, Ngati Pou and Kauteawha of Ngati Rahiri.

Takauere Takauere is the revered taniwha and spiritual guardian of Ngawha and other inland waters of the North that are connected by it's acquifer. The site is a part of the geothermal field whose special properties are regarded as taonga-tuku-iho for Ngapuhi-nui-tonu (not only those who live there). The healing and life giving powers of the Wai Ngawha hotpools are well known. Following the sound defeat of the English at the Battle of Ohaeawai, Hone Heke and his wounded bathed in these healing waters.


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