History & heritage, Things to do  |  4 Mar 2019

Work on installing Victoria Square’s newest art work, Mana Motuhake, will begin later this month.

Mana Motuhake has been created by Ngāi Tahu master carver Fayne Robinson and is made up of two upright waka that will stand 4.75 metres tall and feature carved figures inside.

An artist's impression of Mana Motuhake.

An artist's impression of Mana Motuhake.

Seven metal light pole wraps featuring a range of Ngāi Tahu designs will also be added to the area to enhance the space at night.

Ōtākaro Limited Chief Executive John Bridgman says Mana Motuhake will complement the existing statue of Queen Victoria and emphasise the enduring relationship between the Treaty of Waitangi signatories.

“In pre-European times Puari Pā stretched along the banks of the Avon/Ōtākaro river, close to Victoria Square, so it is the perfect location to acknowledge and celebrate our shared cultural history,’’ Mr Bridgman says.

Matapopore Chairperson Aroha Reriti-Crofts says the waka will sit in the grassed areas near the Queen Victoria statue.

“The Ngāi Tahu Treaty signatories will sit alongside Queen Victoria as an expression of partnership.  This is also an opportunity to reflect on how we have worked together to make the rebuilt Christchurch a place we can all be proud of,'' Ms Reriti-Crofts says.

Mana Motuhake is valued at $300,000 and will be gifted by Ōtākaro to Christchurch City Council.

“We are really pleased to be the future caretakers of Mana Motuhake.  It is a beautiful piece that brings together both mana whenua and colonial history. It enables us to tell our story in central Christchurch and will be a wonderful feature for visitors to our city,” says Christchurch City Council General Manager Citizens and Community, Mary Richardson.

An official blessing to mark the completion of the work is expected to be held in June, before Mana Motuhake is transferred to the Council as part of the wider Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct.