Te Pūtahitanga – Queen Street Cultural Installation
On the morning of Thursday 29 April, Muaūpoko whānau, alongside Council kaimahi/staff gathered to unveil the cultural installation – Te Pūtahitanga located on Oxford Street, Levin.
Muaūpoko artist, Sian Montgomery-Neutze said, “The name of this installation is Te Pūtahitanga, which loosely translates to the meeting place/junction. The pattern used on each panel is Waharua, a pattern often seen on kākahu and other forms of weaving. It is also seen on the kaitaka of Muaūpoko Ancestor Te Rangihiwinui.”
Miss Montgomery-Neutze said, “There are several interpretations of this particular design throughout Aotearoa. In the context of this installation, it is used to represent ‘the meeting place between two things’. This is a common interpretation, and has been used here to reflect the environment within which it is situated.
The installation sits between Tawhirikohukohu and Te Pae Maunga o Tararua in the West, and Punahau and Hokio Beach in the East, with Kawiu to the North, and Kohutūroa to the South. The four panels are a reflection of this junction or meeting place between each of these important tohu whenua/landmarks.
Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Board member, Sillena McGregor said, “We’re proud to share our whakapapa and tīpuna with the wider community. Te Pūtahitanga symbolises the connections between our own people, and demonstrates the connections of our people to their whenua, and to the maunga and awa that have shaped who we are.”
District Mayor, Bernie Wanden said, “It is an honour to be able to support Muaūpoko to tell the stories of their people with a permanent cultural installation. The design of the panels also adds to the aesthetics of Queen Street, which was one of the objectives of the Queen Street Improvements Project.”
The cultural installation was part of the Queen Street Improvements Project that was successful in attracting funding through the Provincial Growth Fund.
The overall layout and the look and feel of Queen Street between Oxford Street and Salisbury Street has been improved, with inclusion of a designated cycle path, appropriate pedestrian facilities, pavement upgrades with fresh aggregates and surfacing, and the cultural installation.