Two whakapakoko in the form of bronze sculptures were recently unveiled and blessed at pre-dawn ceremonies at Nayland College and at Kaiteretere beach.

The bronze sculptures were designed by and created by renowned artist Rangi Kipa, a descendant of the original tūpuna of Wakatū Incorporation.

“Throughout 2018 we celebrated 40 years since the establishment of Wakatū Incorporation. As part of marking this significant milestone we wanted to contribute artwork to the region that recognised and celebrated our tūpuna (ancestors) and our special connection with the region. These two taonga are the first in a series that will be placed at sites of significance for Wakatū and our whānau,” Paul Morgan, Chair of the Wakatū Incorporation Board says.

Representatives from all four Iwi associated with Wakatū; Ngāti Rārua, Te Ātiawa, Ngati Tama, and Ngāti Koata were at both ceremonies, along with representatives from Nayland College and the Kaiteriteri Reserve Recreation board.

The sculpture at Nayland College recognises the significance of Nayland College in hosting the inaugural AGM for Wakatū Incorporation on 28 October 1978. The sculpture’s design reflects the surrounding environment – the Waimea plains and the estuary. The sculpture is placed so it looks out towards Tu Ao Wharepapa (Mount Arthur) and Pukeone (Mount Campbell), both significant mountains for local Iwi.

The taonga at Nayland was unveiled by the widely respected artist Puhanga Tupaea who led the design and creation of the tukutuku panels in the wharenui, Kakati, at Whakatū Marae, and by esteemed kaumātua Priscilla Paul, a well-known leader of Ngāti Koata in Nelson.

At the unveiling Nayland Principal Daniel Wilson acknowledged the special relationship between Wakatū and Nayland College, and that sculpture and what it represents will be incorporated into the school’s curriculum to explore stories and history of the mana whenua.

The second whakapakoko was unveiled at Kaiteretere beach before dawn on Waitangi Day. Its design includes reference to the swirling waters of Kaiteretere. It was unveiled by Ranui Young (Ngāti Rārua) and Paul Morgan.

“Kaiteretere was the site of the negotiations in 1841 between our tūpuna and Captain Wakefield of the New Zealand Company to agree the settlement of the Nelson, Motueka, Mohua districts, and what became known as the Nelson Tenths,” Mr Morgan says.

“It was appropriate to unveil the sculpture on Waitangi Day, a day to reflect on our past and look forward to our futures. Kaiteretere is a popular beach, and this sculpture is a reminder to everyone who comes here of an important moment in history, for both Māori and Pākeha. It represents the coming together of two cultures on one land, and the migration of many people to Nelson and Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island. While this taonga reminds us about our past, it is also symbolic of discussions that are still ongoing today.”

Notes for editors

Wakatū Incorporation
Formed in 1977 and based in Nelson, Wakatū Incorporation has approximately 4,000 shareholders who descend from the original Māori land owners of the Nelson, Tasman and Golden Bay Regions – Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island.

Rangi Kipa (Te Ātiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Tama ki te Tauihu)
Rangi Kipa is a multidisciplinary artist – renowned as a carver, sculptor and ta moko practitioner.

Whakapakoko are traditional artforms which invoke the presence of atua (god) and act as connection between people and the surrounding whenua (land).