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22 Feb, 2018
An intricately carved tiny waka tētē, floating in a bay window of Shed 10 on Queens Wharf is just one of many taonga on display in the historic former warehouse at the bottom of Queen Street.
Te Haumi - The Joining, is a beautifully crafted to-scale replica of a 12.5 metre-long waka tētē, or Māori fishing canoe, that was created by sculptor and artist Will Ngakuru (Te Roroa, Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi ) for the refurbishment of the Category 1 Historic Places landmark in 2013.
It’s one of several works by New Zealand artists including carver Bernard Makoare, ceramicist Amorangi Hikuroa and painter Andrea Eve Hopkins commissioned for the transformation of the iconic building into a world-class cruise ship terminal and event space.
Working with reclaimed and recycled wood, Hokianga-based Will used traditional techniques from his grandfather’s generation to carve the waka’s main hull from three pieces of kānuka.
Employing age-old lashing methods he joined the pieces together, then made delicate bindings to attach the kauri hull and puriri seating to the main body.
Created as a symbol of unity, Te Haumi speaks to the sea and of Will’s seafaring ancestors who developed sophisticated technologies to traverse the Pacific and settle throughout the region.
Welcoming, generous and harmonious, Te Haumi is a taonga to treasure and delight.