Image: The pou residing at the Te Wānanga o Aotearoa campus
The contemporary sculpture that was designed for the opening of the Tauranga site symbolises Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and what it means to be one of its tauira, says female carver Stormy Kara.
Stormy of Ngāti Kahungunu, Cook Islands and Tainui descent was commissioned to carve the pou that features both traditional and modern designs including a stainless steel koru shaped face which represents the founders of the wānanga.
“The wheku represents the founders views and values passed on throughout the years for both tauira and kaiako alike.”
One of the panels signifies the tauira journey and carved in a kōwhaiwhai pattern known as koiri that depicts tauira flourishing as they gain more knowledge in their academic journey.
The front panel carved in the form of rauponga, symbolises the ribcage, and in the intricately carved panel the ribs sit in opposing directions.
“This represents individuality and the very unique way in which Te Wānanga o Aotearoa provides tertiary education compared to other institutions in the world.”
The title of the sculpture “Kaura, Kaura, Kaura - Reveal, Reveal, Reveal comes from a Cook Islands karakia and translates in english to reveal, reveal, reveal your sacred teachings.
“This is a karakia I hold close to my heart as it applies to so many situations,” says Stormy. “Because of that I thought it to be the perfect title as I have learnt so much while putting it together and hope that it continues to teach and watch over many more in years to come.”