Arataki Visitor Centre
Carvings created by local Iwi (tribe) Te Kawerau a Maki are a main feature of Arataki.
A 12 metre pou (guardian post), carved by the people of Te Kawerau a Maki and depicting their ancestors, stands at the entrance to the visitor centre. This pou, unveiled by Kiingi Tuheitia (the Maori King) in 2011, replaced the building’s original carving that had become irreparably damaged by weather over time.
The carvings remind us of the importance of our native forest and the relationship we all have with it. They tell the stories of Te Kawerau a Maki, as local mana whenua or guardians of the land.
The whakairo (carvings) inside the building were carved out of two kauri trees taken from the great forest of Tiriwa (the Waitakere Ranges) by Te Kawerau a Maki and depict their illustrious ancestors.
The original Arataki pou stood at the entrance to the Arataki Visitor Centre for 15 years, from 1994 to 2009.
In the early 1990’s original head carver John Collins and fellow carver Bernard Makoare selected a dead standing kauri from Cascade Kauri in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Parkland. This five tonne icon of the forest was felled and helicoptered out in five pieces, then trucked to Mt Smart Stadium where Collins and his team of carvers began their work.
it was suffering irreparable weather damage.Under the guidance of John Collins the pou has been cared for and maintained since its installation. It has been regularly cleaned and treated with a protective coating. A routine
check in late 2006 revealed signs of timber-weakening decay and investigations into the extent of the damage began.
Visual checks, probing and ultrasound scanning were carried out. The ARC obtained engineering advice, the opinion of a wood conservator at the Auckland Museum, and installed additional bracing to support the pou and maintain its safety.
For my Save the World meme, The above version of the damage of the Pou is the official version. I have also heard of other versions which are plausible. The Pou was only 15 years old. There are security cameras at the place now. Get the gist?