Unveiling of the pou to mark the extension of Kahurangi National Park in July 2019
Image: DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A pou whenua reflecting the unique relationship between Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae and the land will be placed on the Paparoa Track next year.

Date:  16 December 2021

The West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board has recently endorsed the placement of the pou on the track approximately 1 km north of Croesus Knob.

“The pou will enhance Ngāti Waewae/Ngāi Tahu’s connection with the land and provide a visual interpretation of this unique relationship,” Department of Conservation (DOC) Western South Island Operations director Mark Davies says.

Ngāti Waewae/Ngāi Tahu plan to create the pou in the form of a patterned steel panel 5 m high and 2 m wide.

Mark Davies says the chosen location is near the highest point of the track, just south of the junction between the Paparoa Track and the Croesus Track down to Barrytown

“It’s located outside the Paparoa National Park on public conservation land at the boundary of the Paparoa Range South Conservation Area and the adjoining Roaring Meg Ecological Area.”

“In endorsing the pou, the West Coast Conservation Board said that it would provide cultural meaning, dignity, māna and communication of the cultural narrative of the place to a wide audience. They agreed that it would have positive effects on landscape character and visual amenity values.”

“The pou whenua is a significant step on the journey of reestablishing the cultural footprint and mana of Ngāti Waewae/Ngāi Tahu within the Paparoa maunga,” Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae chairman Francois Tumahai says.

“It’s very important that visitors understand the cultural significance of this place and who holds rangatiratanga over this land.”

The pou design and story behind it will be linked to three waharoa, or entranceways, on the track which were hand made by Ngāti Waewae/Ngāi Tahu carvers. These are at the Pororari River entry for walkers, the Punakaiki River entry for mountainbikers and at the Blackball entry.

The pou is one of several that will be installed in the Ngāti Waewae takiwā.

The first was unveiled beside the Mōkihinui River in July 2019 to mark the addition of 64,400 hectares of land to Kahurangi National Park from the river catchment area.


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