Two pou have been installed and then blessed in an early morning ceremony at the SH29 Takitimu Drive Toll Road roundabout this morning (Friday).
"Piki tonu ahau i te ahikoura
noho ana ahau i te Taumata i te riu a Tamarawaho”
The two metre high male and female pou are representative of Tahuriwakanui and his wife Taumata. The pair’s marriage was arranged to continue the relationships formed in the ancient Māori homelands of Hawaiki.
Senior Project Manager, Wayne Troughton says the Transport Agency has worked closely with local hapū, Ngai Tamarawaho, to have the pou installed.
“The installation of these pou symbolise the ongoing relationship we have with Ngai Tamarawaho.
“They also acknowledge the importance of the land the toll road runs through to tangata whenua (the people of the land),” Mr Troughton says.
Hapu representative, Peri Kohu, says the pou are both culturally and historically significant for many in Tauranga.
“All the families at Wairoa, Te Puna, Bethlehem, Waimapu, Hairini, Matapihi and Huria Marae are connected to the husband and wife through the Takitimu, Te Arawa and Mataatua waka.”
“The Ngai Tamarawaho people remember Tahuriwakanui as a warrior chief who was very skilled with the Taiaha,” Mr Kohu says.
The pou are made out of pine, are roughly 0.5 metres in diameter and have been carved by Whare Thompson.
Tahuriwakanui also stands as a sentinel on top of the Tipuna whare at Huria Marae in Judea.