Kaumātua Koro Don Te Māipi ( in photo, right ) led the blessing for a new Maori ‘cultural thread’ in Waikanae today.
The ‘thread’ starts outside the gates of Whakarongotai Marae with a new paving design .
Iwi and Council have worked together on the cultural thread project, the first stage of planned improvements for Waikanae town centre, says Kāpiti District Council Infrastructure Manager Michelle Parnell.
She adds: “The cultural thread aims to recognise the history of our people and to better integrate the Waikanae town centre with Whakarongotai Marae. A significant aspect of the cultural thread is the paving design – Te Ara Tāngata.”
Te Ātiawa Town Centres working group member Tracey Morgan says the cultural thread has many parts.
“The design acknowledges the history of the marae. It reflects the original pātikitiki wallpaper designs and stained-glass windows within the meeting house, and visually connects the marae to Ruakōhatu Urupā – the cemetery next to St Luke’s Church on Elizabeth Street (in Waikanae),” she says.
The paving design also represents purapura whetū (myriad of the stars). Purapura whetū is encased within pātikitiki (the flounder), which symbolises favourable conditions, and harvests good fortune and abundance.
Waka and hoes
Triangular chevrons can be interpreted as not only a waka (spirit medium of an atua), but also the tip of the hoe (used to row or paddle waka on the voyage).
Other work completed as part of the cultural thread include improving lighting, planting, and seating.
And pedestrian access from the Greater Wellington Regional Council commuter car park, past the marae and through to Mahara Place, has been improved.
The KCDC says future work planned for Waikanae town centre includes upgrading Mahara Place.