On a cold, calm morning last week, friends of Matakohe Limestone Island came together for a special ceremony to unveil two carved pou that now look out majestically over the island and harbour.
5/08/2014 11:05 a.m.
Matakohe - Limestone Island is a Council reserve managed by the Friends of Matakohe Limestone Island (FOMLI) and sitting in the heart of Whangarei Harbour.
Since 1989 the island has been the focus of restoration efforts with a mission to restore it to a functioning coastal broadleaf forest ecosystem.
Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai said that FOMLI commissioned tohunga whakairo (master carver), Te Warihi Heteraka of Ngati Wai, and his team of skilled carvers to carve the pou.
“It is wonderful to see the care and commitment that FOMLI puts into restoring and maintaining the island recognised through these stunning pou which enhance its natural beauty,” Mayor Mai said.
“The names of the pou relate to two stars in the Matariki cluster, Waita and Waiti, hence the names Te Pou Ti and Te Pou Ta.
“The left pou symbolises the protection of the island’s fauna and flora, and the right pou the protection of our ancestors who show us the way forward into the future.
“The ceremony was particularly moving as the pou were passed from the carvers into the care of FOMLI and blessed before the dawning of the last day of Matariki.”
“The island is open for everyone to enjoy and, being just a boat ride from Whangarei or a short paddle from Onerahi, it’s easy for people to get out there and see first hand these wonderful carvings and the restoration work that has been done.”