Community, Council

Milestone sculpture to mark celebration

Renowned New Zealand carver and tattooist Heemi Te Peeti. Photo: Supplied.

A towering sculpture marking a milestone moment in Marlborough’s history has secured $88,000 of council funding.

The $401,000 art installation created by renowned New Zealand carver and tattooist Heemi Te Peeti is inspired by Rangitāne o Wairau.

And the iwi has successfully secured $88,000 from Marlborough District Council to put towards the massive steel and bronze creation.

In a bid put forward to council, project organisers say the carving will go up on the corner of SH1 and Nelson St, next to the railway station.

“Archeologically, the Wairau is regarded as the first settled region with remains dating back 1000 years.

“The significance and heritage if this area is not widely known at a community level.

“Tui 250 provides the opportunity for a legacy landmark sculpture with interpretation panels to promote the region and its extraordinary history”.

Hopes for the Tauihu sculpture, representing the prow of a waka, to be cast entirely in bronze were scuppered due to a budget shortfall.

But plans for the 8-metre high art project were changed to ensure the project could go ahead as part of the Tōtaranui 250 celebrations in November.

Rangitāne o Wairau are contributing $30,000 to events and the project.

Organisers have also applied to the Rata Foundation for a grant of $120,000.

“A key part of the commemoration is the Tui 250 voyage, a flotilla of Pacific and European vessels.

“The voyage flotilla will promote the exceptional feats of Māori and European voyaging that brought us together, while providing an opportunity to reflect on our complex history of migration and settlement,” they say.

Rangitāne o Wairau will be co-ordinating the Haka Pōwhiri at Ship;s Cove , which will be led by Janis de Thierry.

Wānanga will be held to learn specific haka taparahi to perform with Wānanga training dates to be announced shortly.

If you are interested in being part of the Ope Haka Pōwhiri please contact the Rangitāne office on (03) 578 6180.

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