Generic Pou - Te Ngira
Carver: Te Warahi Hetaraka
The Needle of Unity
In 1858 Potatau Te Wherowhero proclaimed:
"Kotahi te kohao O te ngira e kuhuna te miro ma, te miro pango, te mira Whero;
There is but one eye of the needle that the white, black and red threads must pass "...
This metaphoric statement was made before he was anointed King.
He was alluding to the importance of all people uniting under the banner of the Kingitanga, using the eye of the needle to represent the Kingitanga.
About the same time in a land far from here, Baha'u'llah, the prophet founder of the Baha'i Faith proclaimed: "So powerful is the light of unity it may envelope the whole earth."
In recognition of the diversity of all the peoples and cultures that have woven the social fabric of Whangārei, and keeping in mind the connection these pou have with the Three Baskets of Knowledge, we have chosen the needle, and an ancient proverb of Aotearoa to portray this powerful concept of unity in diversity.
Whakarongo ake ai au ki te tangi a te Matui, tui, tui, tuitui a, tuia i runga, tuia i raro, tuia i waho, tuia i roto.
Tuia te here tangata ka rongo te po, ka rongo te ao.
Tuia te muka tangata i takea mai i Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki pamamao.
Ka hono te wairua ka ki ake au,
Ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea!
I hear the call of the Matui, unite, unite, unite, bind the forces of divinity and spiritual understanding, bind together the knowledge of our natural world and of the underworld through prayer and meditation bind these forces within thyself.
By night and by day they who so heed this call will be bound in unity, and will unite the diversity of humanity who arrived here from the great Hawaiki, the distant Hawaiki, from the far distant Hawaiki.
Souls gather in unity and I say, it is dawn it is dawn, it is light!
The body of the needle represents directives, processes and action needed for the development of unity. The upper part of the eye of the needle represents the energy force, the cause, the creator, the divinity - God. The lower part of the eye represents heaven, the creative realm - Rangituhaha.
The base is symbolic of the fabric of humanity wrapped around the lower pointed end of tile needle, tapering upwards and around the needle until it passes through the eye.
This alludes to the concept that with the achievement of unity, humanity has the ability to reach the pinnacle of enlightenment, advancement, prosperity and peace.
The red fish scale pattern running the length of the needle has sets of scales. These scales acknowledge creation and the spiritual evolution of humanity, indicated by the lines that run between them which also represent the spiritual connection between earth, humanity and the creative realm.
There is a saying that our reality is our thoughts so although people are all physically bound by the laws of nature surely one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon humanity from the creative realm is the power of reason. Without this power humans gravitate to their lower nature where arguments strife and war result.
By the power of reason we have the ability to recognise higher nature and to know that there is a creative force far greater than ourselves.
This is what all cultures have in common.
We all have a version of creation, of spiritual practice and belief.
Surely with the power of our higher nature we must be able to value these differences as a cause to celebrate humanity's diversity and create peace on the earth - as represented in this pou.