Symbolic Pou on guard outside new Kāpiti Council HQBy Alan Tristram
Three carvings, representing the three iwi of Kāpiti who signed the Treaty of Waitangi, hve been unveiled outside the main entrance of the new KCDC Civic Building.
Iwi, Council’s kaumātua Rakauoteora Te Maipi (Koro Don), Mayor Jenny Rowan, a number of Councillors and Council staff watched as the carvings (pou) – which tell the story of ancestors from the Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira iwi – were blessed.
The karakia (blessing) was carried out by Kahu Ropata, Hemi Sundgren and Ben Ngaia on behalf of the three iwi.
This was followed by a mihi (welcome) from Rupene Waaka – chair of the iwi partnership group Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti – and Koro Don. Mayor Rowan then gave a speech.
“Today we give thanks to these magnificent taonga – for the journey they represent and the essence of what they mean to us here on the Kāpiti Coast,” she said.
“The pou acknowledge the journey Council and the district’s tāngata whenua have taken together. They give mana to this civic area and give it a sense of completion.”
The date for the pou ceremony was chosen because the treaty was signed on Mana and Kāpiti islands on 19 June 1840, more than 173 years ago. The other significance of the timing is that we are currently moving through Matariki (Māori New Year) which is a time to respect the land we live on.
Carved by Chris Gerretzen
Chris Gerretzen carved the pou on behalf of Te Āti Awa. Hermann Salzmann carved the two others on behalf of Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Ngāti Raukawa. His brother, Tana Salzmann, helped carve the Ngāti Raukawa pou.
“It was an honour to be asked to carve the Te Āti Awa pou,” Mr Gerretzen said. “They look beautiful standing side by side, they complete each other.”
The pou ceremony was followed by the launch of Maramataka – the 5th annual Māori lunar calendar produced by Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti.