This drawing is based on a bird’s eye view of the Hutt River, Te Awakairangi. The taratara-a-kai whakairo motif is often found on pātaka, symbolising the plenitude of resources and food in the valley. The abundant natural environment was a significant factor in the original settlers choosing to locate themselves in the area. Perry Scott was born in Rarotonga in 1952. He studied Maori Craft and Design at Waiariki Institute of Technology and a Diploma of Art and Creativity at The Learning Connexion.
This design represents the strength of the local community. The design, named ‘tokelau feletoa’ by Queen Salote Tupou III, is a familiar one in tapa, referring to ‘strong warriors of the north’. The design represents all the cultures of the northeast Taita/Pomare area working together strongly as a community. Tualau Fale was born in Tonga. He is a local artist and former Olympic boxer, an appropriate artist to be contributing a design to this significant sports and community hub. Tualau learnt art at high school in Tonga, and tapa design from his parents. Since he came to NZ, he has been designing tapa cloth and carving.
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This figure is inspired by Ngake, the legendary taniwha that created Wellington harbour and the Hutt River, Te Awakairangi. Ngake is a kaitiaki figure looking over the Taita/ Pomare area and the path of the river down to the harbour. Tākere Wairama (Tūhoe) is a local carver who was trained by master carver, John Taiapa, at the NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, now called Te Puia, in Rotorua. After his apprenticeship, Tākere set up his own carving business supplying the tourist trade in Rotorua. Tākere is now based in Taita. He teaches carving and is involved in local carving projects.
Sarah Brooke (a Taita College student) submitted several designs for the concrete panels. The pictured design is based on medieval woodcuts inspired by the historic Christ Church in Taita, and the strong labour history of the area. Although the selectors were impressed by Sarah’s design, it did not lend itself to the concrete molding process and was not chosen for one of the final panels. We are pleased to display the print at the Centre with its strong relationship to the local area.