The “Pou Kapūa Taonga” is a significant Maori/Pacific Indigenous cultural arts project. Its creation and project management was led by Master Carver Wikuki Kingi Jnr, QSM and Tania Haerekiterā Wolfgramm-Kingi. The Pou Kapūa was carved from a magnificent ancient kauri from the forests of the Iwi of Te Rarawa, stands more than seventy feet high, and is the largest totem of its type in the world.
The stories carved onto the Pou Kapūa is based on Maori and Polynesian creation beliefs and legends and also reflects the stories of migration to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Working on Pou Kapūa was a dedicated team of four master carvers, five team carvers, five apprentices, hundreds of volunteers and suppliers and have also received generous support from numerous groups, organisations, businesses, trusts, individual and corporate sponsors, funding agencies and the Auckland City Council.
Other Pacific and Indigenous carvers have travelled to New Zealand to take part in the carving. Inuit carver Frank Wolfhead from Glacier Bay, Alaska, and Professor Anthony Dieter from the Cree Nation Saskatchewan, Canada have, on behalf of their peoples, contributed to this kaupapa by carving their ancestors on Pou Kapūa. Cook Island carver Tavita also spent hundreds of hours carving their stories and figures on the Pou. Two carvers, Tomas Tukitepano and Luis Hey Chavez from Rapanui/Easter Island also carved two 3 metre high moai (Easter Island figures) from hinuera stone.
Pou Kapūa was finished in 2005 and is located at the centre of the plaza between the Vodafone Events Centre and Vector Wero Whitewater Park.
Waka Nga Hononga
A beautiful waka was commissioned by the Trust, constructed and installed at the entrance of Vector Wero.
Named Waka Nga Hononga, it symbolises union and relationship and represents the vessel that carried the carvers, their families and everyone involved in the carving, along with the staff and visitors of the events centre and white water park. The whakairo project was led by Master Carver Anton Forde with Ted Ngataki, who carved with Uenuku Hawira, Merv Hohai, Maaka Potini.
Jay Mason and his Otahuhu College students also received the opportunity to join in this very significant installation.
Vector Wero has 110 Pous or posts that run along its two rivers. They represent different Kaitiaki or guardians watching over the whole area and over those who come and go.
It is said that there are over 100 chiefs looking over each bend of the Waikato River. Rather than name the Pou after the chiefs, we have named them Kaitiaki as guardians over the complex.
- Ted Ngataki, Master carver, kaumatua, Former Board of Trustee of Second Nature Charitable Trust