Information about the design and meaning of the 28th Māori Battalion A Company Whangarei Branch Pou.
14/03/2016 4:23 p.m.
Carvers: Tame, Hori and Tu Wihongi (Ngapuhi)
This pou is a symbolic representation of the 28th Māori Battalion's A Company soldiers, wives, families and associates who settled in and around the Whangarei district after the war.
This carving has four central symbolic representations:
Tumatauenga - God of War
The central figure represents Tumatauenga (God of War) and the soldiers who fought overseas. He is holding a rifle with the barrel facing down towards the ground. The bayonet morphs in to a ko (digging stick) pointing towards the piece of kauri gum with reference to their known tribal identity "the gum diggers" and also symbolizes their return from war (Tumatauenga) home to peace (Rongomatane - God of peace).
The small manaia form represents nga uri whakatupuranga (the future generation who will represent their forebears in time to come).
Te Kahukiwi - The Kiwi Feathered Cloak
The cloak is symbolic of the aroha (love), manaakitanga (caring), tautoko (support), awhina (help) and wairua (spirituality) that the soldiers were draped with when sent overseas and on their return home.
Korari / Harakeke - Flax
The strands of Korari are symbolic of these 28th Māori Battalion A Company rangatira (*ranga - to weave, tira - groups of people) who settled into jobs in and around the Whangarei district, being involved in community work and bringing Maori tikanga into a growing Whangarei city (Terenga Paraoa - the meeting place of the whales/chiefs).
The Harakeke shoots are symbolic of tupuna (ancestors), matua (parents), mokopuna (grandchildren) iwi, hapu and whanau (tribe and family) embracing their rangatira.
Maumaharatanga - Remembrance
The form is based on the wakakoiwi (burial chests) typically found in Te Taitokerau (Northland) and remembers all those who have passed on through the veil of no return.