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Putanga 06 Hakihea - Kohitātea 2007

Kōkiri Issue 06

In 2001 the wharenui of Puketeraki Marae, just out of Dunedin, was opened after being re-built with the assistance of pūtea given to all rūnaka from the Ngāi Tahu Waitangi claim settlement. This was a significant opportunity for Kati Huirapa Rūnaka, who had not seen a whare whakairo in the area for more than 100 years.

The wharenui was opened with no artworks adorning the marae, the ātea or the wharenui. The development and creation of these works has since been a focus of the rūnaka. With the assistance of Creative New Zealand’s Toi Ake programme, which supports the preservation and development of toi Māori for hapū/iwi, the rūnaka has been able to hold hui, coordinate workshops, employ artists and work towards having a fully adorned marae.

Puketeraki Marae

The first stage in the marae adornment project is now complete. There is a ceramic wall greeting people as they enter the Marae and carvings on the mahau of the wharenui, Huirapa.

This project has enabled the development of the Huriawa Pā, the creation of panels describing the history of the pā, and the carving of a gateway to the pā, Tiakitaka. All work was guided by Ngāi Tahu master carver James York and completed by rūnaka members.

For James York, completing the new face of the Huirapa whare tipuna was a challenge, an honour and a privilege. “It’s a dream for me,” James says. “I’ve always wanted to carve a whare and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to do it.”

“It’s like writing a book,” James explains. “The design is constantly evolving as the stories unfold. The challenge is to ensure the stories told are linked together, the whānau agree they are the right ones and the tīpuna are honoured. As a master carver, it is a privilege to interpret those stories.”

Toi Ake is a Creative New Zealand funding programme that supports the preservation and development of toi Māori for hapū/iwi.

Toi Ake has been tailored by iwi and arts practitioners into a model that focuses on development and retention of ngā toi Māori, both traditional and contemporary. Whakapapa-based roopū may apply to Te Waka Toi for funding or consultant assistance to undertake a Toi Ake project.

The next funding round closes at 5pm, Friday 29 February 2008.

For more information on eligibility criteria, examples of the types of projects Te Waka Toi supports and for application forms contact:

Haniko Te Kurapa, Toi Ake Project Coordinator Creative New Zealand, PO Box 3806, Wellington
Ph: 04 473 0182, email: hanikot@creativenz.govt.nz