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First Māori garden in France

4 December, 2012

First Māori garden in France - French project team to visit Rāpaki

A New Zealand and French Project Team has created the first Māori garden in France, Te Pūtake – A Māori Garden in France (inspired by Ngāi Tahu culture & traditions) at the world renowned Moselle Conseil General Fruit Gardens in Laquenexy, Moselle, North Eastern France. The French Project Team is visiting Rāpaki and Governors Bay this week.

Te Pūtake – A Māori Garden in France will feature native New Zealand Tōtara and Kauri carvings from some wood and rock sourced from destroyed buildings within the Christchurch, Lyttelton and Rāpaki Earthquake Zones, pounamu from Te Tai Poutini (West Coast) and a 50,000 year old kauri stump from Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) as well as three mauri (spiritual) stones sourced from Rapanui Kōhatu Rock (Shag Rock) Sumner, the Christchurch CBD and Te Poho o Tamatea Mountain, Rāpaki. These mauri stones were laid in June this year on the Te Putake site, before the construction was started.

The New Zealand Project Team Leader, Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako (Ngāi Tahu), says the name Te Pūtake refers to the origin, genesis or “a root of a living plant” in a natural world context and is inspired by the traditions of Māori gardens and the fundamental relationships Māori have with Mother Nature.

“As well as promoting the cultural wealth of Ngāi Tahu and Māori overseas the Te Pūtake – A Māori Garden in Franceproject is serving to support cultural, artistic and creative exchange as well as commercial benefits. A close sister town relationship between Laquenexy and Rāpaki and Lyttelton & Governors Bay Schools, has been formed on the basis of a strong bond between French and Canadian First Nations Peoples, as well as promoting awareness of the Christchurch earthquake rebuild effort.”

The French Project Team, is well into the building of Te Pūtake – A Māori Garden in France, which will be a permanent fixture within the Laquenexy Fruit Gardens Complex, in line with the Canadian First Nations Garden (CFN) Ohtehra that was created in 2010.

Nuk Korako was project manager of the award winning Te Waipounamu Garden (“A Garden Without Borders”) at the 2010 Ellerslie International Flower Show. The Te Pūtake – A Māori Garden in France New Zealand project team includes Ngāi Tahu architect Perry Royal, master carver Riki Manuel (Ngāti Porou) and Public Relations & Toi Iho Trustee, Ata Te Kanawa(Ngāti Maniapoto). The French team is led by garden designerPascal Garbe, who is the project manager for the Gardens Policy with the Moselle Conseil General. He was International Garden Tourism Person of the Year in 2011 in North America and star judge at the Ellerslie International Flower Show, Christchurch 2011. Collaboration on Te Pūtake – A Māori Garden in France grew out of that relationship with Pascal and the Moselle Conseil General Fruit Gardens following last year’s Ellerslie show.

Te Pūtake – A Māori Garden in France is to be unveiled on June 01 2013 in line with Matariki and it is expected the new garden and related campaigns will attract up to 20,000 additional visitors, from France and Europe, boosting the annual attendance of the Fruit Gardens Event in Laquenexy to around 60,000 visitors per year.


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