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National award for Hinetapuarau pou in Matawai

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The effort behind the Hinetapuarau pou near the new Te Whitinga o Tamataipunoa (former Motu) Bridge, just north of Matawai, has been recognised with an award at the recent Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand (SESOC) awards.

white sculpture sitting on hill near motorway

Hinetapuarau pou next to Te Whitinga o Tamataipunoa Bridge

Engineering consultancy WSP, the structural engineering designers for the pou, entered Hinetapuarua into the awards and won the Small Projects category.

The award is given to a construction project in recognition of outstanding achievement in the advancement of structural engineering design and construction.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Project Manager, Richard Bayley, managed the delivery of this project and says he’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the creation of Hinetapuarau.

“Just as she appears in her home now, the making of Hinetapuarau was also incredibly detailed, thought-provoking and all-round impressive,” says Mr Bayley.

The pou was designed by local artist Nick Tupara on behalf of Matawai Marae and for his iwi of Tūranganui-ā-Kiwa and Te Whakatohea, and was brought to life by the Gisborne Engineering team, headed by Kevin Alvie.

“The engineers definitely had their artistic hats on, finding elegant solutions and giving me confidence that the stories of my uncles (reflected in the pou) were being taken seriously. I knew that the engineers also wanted this to be a beautiful expression of art,” says Mr Tupara.

Adam Furniss, Senior Engineering Geologist from WSP, felt the pou was a great example of mahi tahi (collaboration).

“The weaving of the kaitoi (artist), tirohanga matakite (vision), and whakapapa (family history/stories), alongside the work of the kaipūkaha (engineers) has produced a nationally significant landmark. Set amongst the mist Hinetapuarau stands tall as a gateway to the Tairawhiti region,” says Mr Furniss.

Waka Kotahi is planning a community day with Matawai School to do some planting in the area near the bridge and pou, and to mark the official completion of the project.

More information about the Motu Bridge replacement project and the story of the creation of the Hinetapuarau pou is available here: 
Motu Bridge replacement project

 

The unveiling of 'Hinetapuarau' pou (Motu Bridge, Gisborne)

 

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