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Pou Whakairo finds it’s home at Startup Hub – GridAKL / John Lysaght

This stunning pou was commissioned by Whaotapu and carved in the Museum of Auckland in 2015 . It is Waka maumahara, a design usually used for a memorial post for a Chief but which in this instance refers to the location of the innovation precinct. The Pou is carved from a 600 year old kauri which fell in the Waitakere forest about 10 years ago.

Carvers from all iwi within Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) area came together to work on the pou, bringing designs from their respective iwi. Some involved were Vern Rossier, Lawrence Makoare, Rewi Spraggon, Ted Ngataki, Puhi Thompson and Wiikuki Kingi.

The design reflects Mataoho – the God of Volcanoes who played such an important part in shaping the Tamaki Makaurau landscape.

A carving technique displayed here is called Haumi, which is the technique of joining logs together to create waka. This was an innovative practice that enabled tupuna to build bigger and stronger waka. The Tau along the ridge represents 20 peoples of Tamaki, 19 who have tribal connections to Tamaki Makaurau and 1 other to represent all the other ethnic groups of Tamaki. It is carved in the form of manaia heads – ‘mana’ and ‘ia’, meaning his/her mana.
Another important feature is Kupenga at the base of the Pou. This is representative of the net-making and therefore joining together of all people.

This Pou beautifully represents the innovation of Maori and is perfect for its new home in the John Lysaght building, the centre of GridAKL’s Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct.