Giant pole planned
The latest addition to the Tokoroa Talking Poles is the biggest yet.
The pole was being carved by Forest View High School art teacher Lionel Matenga.
Commissioned by New World Tokoroa, the Tokoroa Talking Poles Trust will reveal the talking pole at the opening of the new supermarket in April.
The pole measures almost six metres high and about four metres wide at the base.
It is made of native wood donated to the trust by Te Putahitanga o Nga Ara Trust, which incorporates Maori who own land near Titiraupenga Maunga.
The wood Mr Matenga is using for the pole is estimated to be about 800 years old.
John Paki Junior, who is a trustee on both the poles and Te Putahitanga trusts, said the native tree used for the pole was one that was cut down in the 1960s and burned by the Crown.
‘‘ Back when it was Crownowned land they would cut down the native wood and those they didn’t use would be burned.
‘‘When we were given back the land we got a forest full of living natives and many more that were felled. As a trust we decided that we would donate wood for the Talking Poles symposium which began in 2004.’’
Mr Matenga likened the experience of choosing the log to carve as a ‘‘child in a candy store’’.
‘‘I decided that I didn’t want a round straight up and down log, I wanted one with character. I could see these logs lying there; after two hours I found her, I knew that was the log I wanted.’’
Tokoroa New World owner and operator Damon Jakeman said the store had always had a community focus and was committed to continuing this relationship.
‘‘It is important that the new store fits in with our community and what better way to do that then with a pole synonymous with our town. I gave a brief to the carver on New World’s core values,’’ Mr Jakeman said. ‘‘ We are a community focused store which I think has been incorporated well in the pole.’’
Tokoroa Talking Poles Chairperson Mariata Couch is excited about the pole’s unveiling and is thankful to those involved.
The first talking poles were created at 2004’s symposium of artists. Since then about 40 poles have been created and sited throughout Tokoroa.
The next talking poles symposium is set for March 2012.
POLE CREATOR: Lionel Matenga is carving the biggest talking pole to date. It will be unveiled at the opening of New World in Tokoroa in April.