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Migration to be commemorated at Waitangi Park

23 October 2007

Migration to be commemorated at Waitangi Park

Anyone who has walked by Waitangi Park in the last few days will have seen a new 30 tonne, seven-metre tall sculpture or pou, Te Waka Pou, by New Zealand artist Ra Vincent.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast and representatives from the Wellington Tenths Trust will officially launch the pou on Friday 26 October.

“This is one of just a few sculptures of this kind in the country,” says Mayor Prendergast. “The totara beams symbolise both Pacific Island and European migration to this land, and the ornate bronze work linking them is quite magnificent.”

Ra Vincent is responsible for several public art works around the city, including Anchor Stone in Civic Square and Pou Whenua at the Molesworth Street entrance to Parliament. He was recently employed by Wellington Waterfront Ltd to create a sculpture for Waitangi Park.

A son of painter and sculptor Bodhi Vincent, he says he was introduced to sculpture at a very young age. Previously specialising in figurative work, he now has more of a contemporary outlook and prefers to work in a range of media.

He says the process for Te Waka Pou was a “labour of love for all the people who were involved”, and that many people worked for free or provided materials at cost price.

“The base of the sculpture consists of andesite, volcanic rock which was worked in Taranaki and brought down to Wellington. The totara was carved in Wellington, and the bronze was cast in Nelson,” he says.

“So in a sense, the process involved in creating the art work suits such a historically significant site - Waitangi Park, and the nearby waka landing site. It will symbolically act as a beacon for those who arrive to Wellington harbour.”

The ceremony to commemorate the installation of the $61,000 art work will take place at 11am on Friday 26 October.

Media are invited to attend.


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