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Third Mahi Toi Added To Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi To WarkworthMotorway

A third mahi toi artwork has been installed and blessed by local iwi and hapū at the southern end of the new Ara-Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway.

The motorway, which will open soon, features a series of mahi toi, which reflect the history and values of mana whenua traditional people with authority over the land in the area.

The latest mahi toi, He Tohu Maumahara, was designed and handcrafted by prominent Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Carver, Lawrence Makoare. It was unveiled at a dawn ceremony today, attended by invited guests from the community.

He Tohu Maumahara

The mahi toi is of a toki adze with a stone blade and solid kauri handle. The toki is a traditional Māori tool, and the uses included construction of kāinga homes. The toki is complemented by a double handled saw, a tool widely used by the Bohemian settlers of Pūhoi to establish their own dwellings.

The two tools are shown together to represent the way that mana whenua and early Bohemian settlers came together upon arrival of the settlers within the rohe tribal boundary. When preliminary investigations for the project began in 2010 some of the descendants of the original Bohemian settlers, who still reside in the Pūhoi area, shared with Hōkai Nuku their korero story about how their ancestors would have perished during the first harsh winter without the manaakitanga hospitality of mana whenua. This conversation helped to inspire the composition of this artwork.

”We have waited years for these beautiful mahi toi to be unveiled. They celebrate our cultural footprint and identity in the landscape and remind drivers that they are in Aotearoa,“ says Mook Hohneck, Chair of Hōkai Nuku and Ngāti Manuhiri.

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The artwork project has been overseen by Hōkai Nuku and the artists in partnership with NX2. NX2 CEO Vicente Valencia says it has been a great privilege to work alongside Hōkai Nuku and with the community of Māori artists to bring these extraordinary pieces to life.

He Tohu Maumahara is located at the Pūhoi Road off-ramp, and joins Huihui Ngā Rangatira, at the northern abutment of Arawhiti ki Ōkahu, and Reipae, installed at the Pukerito intersection at the northern end of Ara Tūhono earlier this week.

About Hōkai Nuku

Hōkai Nuku is the authorised voice of four Iwi and Hapū mana whenua within the designation of Ara Tūhono – Ngāti Manuhiri, Te Uri O Hau, Ngāti Rango of Kaipara and Ngāti Whātua. Learn more about Hōkai Nuku at

You can read more about Ara Tūhono -Pūhoi to Warkworth on our website

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