Sa­cred Chisel carvers have a long-term plan

Central Leader - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABA­DIA

Rewi Sprag­gon likes to plan ahead.

Un­like most peo­ple he doesn’t have a five or 10-year plan – but a 400-year plan.

Sprag­gon is the project man­ager of the multi-tribe group The Sa­cred Chis­els of Ta­maki Makau­rau, Nga Whao­tapu o Ta­maki Makau­rau, which in­cludes 16 carvers from the five tribal re­gions of Auck­land.

‘‘The way we think is it’s not just about us. If I can make the Sa­cred Chis­els sus­tain­able, I want that to hap­pen for the four gen­er­a­tions ahead of us,’’ Sprag­gon says.

‘‘Shouldn’t that be what we aim for, to cre­ate longevity and mean­ing­ful work?’’

The col­lec­tive formed in July and com­pleted their first com­mis­sion in Septem­ber.

The 4.5 me­tre pare (door lin­tel) now hangs above the new Auck­land Coun­cil build­ing en­trance­way on Al­bert St.

The master carvers worked at Silo Park and vis­i­tors were en­cour­aged to go along and ask ques­tions ( Cen­tral Leader, July 30). About 32,000 peo­ple at­tended dur­ing the six-week res­i­dence.

‘‘In the past carv­ing was a closed shop,’’ Sprag­gon says.

‘‘But it’s good for vis­i­tors to see live carv­ing hap­pen­ing.

‘‘Our val­ues are about in­clud­ing ev­ery­one and shar­ing Auck­land’s sto­ries. The only way you do that is in the pub­lic arena.’’

Now the master carvers have moved to Auck­land War Memo­rial Mu­seum’s Maori Court, where they will be for the next six months.

The group is work­ing on a com­mis­sion for a pare to adorn the Devon­port Li­brary en­trance­way.

‘‘The guys have all been study­ing th­ese arte­facts for years. Now to carve here is amaz­ing.’’

Photo: OLIVER LI

Am­bi­tious vi­sion: Mem­bers of the carv­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion The Sa­cred Chis­els of Ta­maki Makau­rau. From left, Puhi Thomp­son, Wikuki Kingi, Arekat­era Maihi, Rewi Sprag­gon and Sun­nah Thomp­son.

On time: Im­mu­ni­sa­tion co-or­di­na­tor and vac­ci­na­tion nurse Mar­ion Howie gives Adri­ana Ji her first six-week vac­ci­na­tions with mum Peggy Jin.

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