Sculp­ture for Matariki tells story

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - Ho­ri­ana Hen­der­son Win­tec jour­nal­ism stu­dent

Win­tec is part­ner­ing with mana whenua, Hamil­ton City Coun­cil, in­dus­try and other com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers to cre­ate an in­ter­ac­tive waka sculp­ture to com­mem­o­rate Matariki.

The sculp­ture will con­sist of a 6m tall steel pou mauma­hara (memo­rial pil­lar) with in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments and will stand in Hamil­ton’s Fer­ry­bank park.

Project lead and Win­tec tu­tor Joe Cit­i­zen said he had wanted to ac­knowl­edge the Waikato river and fol­lowed Tainui kauma¯ tua, Tame Pokaia’s sug­ges­tion to visit Te Winika — the 200-year-old carved waka taua (Ma¯ ori war ca­noe), at the Waikato Mu­seum.

Cit­i­zen said the in­for­ma­tion around how Te Winika refers to an orchid from Kawhia im­pressed his thoughts and how knowl­edge un­folds, buds and flow­ers.

“I started to think about not just form but the way in which the think­ing around part­ner­ship could flower.”

He has en­gaged Win­tec staff and stu­dents across mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines and has worked closely with the in­sti­tu­tion’s Ma¯ ori Achieve­ment Unit.

“This is re­ally a part­ner­ship with Ma¯ ori Achieve­ment. In many ways I think it comes back to Te Tir­iti. This is about Te Ao Ma¯ ori and Te Ao Pa¯ ke¯ ha work­ing to­gether . . . I am work­ing with an­cient knowl­edge that I don’t know about and so my role is to act in a way that is ap­pro­pri­ate. Ev­ery­thing goes through Tame.”

Cit­i­zen said that his un­der­stand­ing of Matariki is de­vel­op­ing but the choice to in­cor­po­rate seven stars was clear.

“Some peo­ple think there are nine stars some peo­ple think there are seven, Waikato-Tainui say there are seven so that’s the way we’re do­ing it here.”

Ngaati Wairere his­to­rian Wiremu Puke sug­gested that Cit­i­zen in­cor­po­rate niho tani­wha

(teeth of the tani­wha) and Cit­i­zen is us­ing the em­blem to ac­knowl­edge the well-known Waikato proverb ‘he piko, he tani­wha’.

The proverb refers to the many chiefs who dwelt at ev­ery bend of the Waikato river and ac­knowl­edges mana whenua of the re­gion.

The niho tani­wha has been notched into steel pan­els and Cit­i­zen is cur­rently work­ing on light­ing an­i­ma­tion which will shine through to re­flect rain pat­terns or fresh wa­ter which the Matariki star Waitii over­sees.

Three stars will be rep­re­sented down one side of the struc­ture with an­other three on the other side and Matariki at the top.

Many in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments will be in­cor­po­rated from con­tem­po­rary taonga pu¯ oro (tra­di­tional mu­si­cal in­stru­ment) com­po­si­tions, his­tory and sto­ry­telling el­e­ments, lights and in­ter­net ap­pli­ca­tions.

The in­stal­la­tion is sched­uled to be com­pleted be­fore the end of the year.

One ques­tion Cit­i­zen is of­ten asked is who’s pay­ing for the in­ter­ac­tive sculp­ture?

“I’ve raised through grants $140,000 from the be­gin­ning of last year.

“Peo­ple al­ways go ‘oh my rates’. Well, peo­ple’s rates haven’t paid for this.”

Mana whenua have been ap­proached to form the fi­nal name for the waka sculp­ture.

■ For more in­for­ma­tion there is a Matariki In­ter­ac­tive Waka Project Face­book page.

Photo / Terry Su

Win­tec tu­tor Joe Cit­i­zen is cur­rently work­ing on light­ing an­i­ma­tion which will shine through steel plates.

Im­age / Supplied

A con­cept draw­ing of the 6m tall steel pou mauma­hara (memo­rial pil­lar) with in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments that will stand in Hamil­ton’s Fer­ry­bank park.

Photo / Terry Su

Win­tec tu­tor Joe Cit­i­zen wanted to cre­ate a piece which ac­knowl­edged the Waikato river and the Matariki waka.

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