(under the City to Sea Bridge)
Wharehoka Smith designed this WAITUHI artwork during Matariki 2015. Wharehoka is a Taranaki-based artist and designer of Taranaki tūturu, Te Ati Awa, Ngā Ruahine Tau descent.This is the second iteration of WAITUHI. The first was realised by artist Johnson Witehira in 2014.
Wharehoka’s design for WAITUHI is divided into ten sections. From left is the Guardian Ngake and on the right the Guardian Whaataitai. Interwoven are Matariki, Iwi-Whakapapa Ranginui (Heaven), Papatuenuku (Earth/Whenua), Ruaumoko (Earth Quakes), Tiki (Human form celebrating / gardening), Manaia (human in side profile kite flying), Manu-Tukutuku (kite Keo the Wairua of Whaataitai).
The image draws on many traditional design elements like the Paatiki (flounder/diamond-shape), Niho-Taniwha (triangle/tooth of Taniwha), Poutama (step/access-to/action-of Atua), that have evolved from the Taniko Tukutuku Raranga Arts. Together these elements remind us of the ideals behind the Matariki traditions:
successful communities united and thriving through knowledge resources
sharing produce, work, play and lore
while displaying tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences.
Ruaumoko is the ever-present Taniwha/Atua in Whanganui-a-Tara korero who serves to keep the people humble prepared and alert.