Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Wai-titi Landing ... #50
Wai-titi (shining waters), which is an old waka landing near the entrance to the Beehive (in the background) , is commemorated by two carved features that depict the two taniwha of Wellington Harbour called Ngake and Whataitai. These Pou Whenua (tribal boundary markers), are the most visible elements of the Wai-titi Landing on the corner of Molesworth Street and Lambton Quay.
The Pou Whenua, created by Te Atiawa sculptor Ra Vincent, have been gifted to the City of Wellington by the Wellington Tenths Trust. The Trust is the Wellington City Council's partner in the project, which aims to recognise the heritage of the area as a waka landing beach in pre-European times by Te Atiawa and Taranaki Whanau. The beach was a major access point to the Kumutoto and Pipitea area.
The Pou Whenua are placed each side of a ground-level wooden bridge and carry two figures symbolising the people of the land they stand on. A kowhai design is reflected on the inner surfaces of the Pou Whenua, representing the wairua (spirit of the land) from which they emerge. Phased lighting depicts waves along the bridge. The park itself is surrounded by a landscaped perimeter of plantings.