Uenuku pou completes site at the foot of Ruapehu

Published: Jul 28, 2020 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020

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  • Manawatū/Whanganui

Over the last six months Uenuku tohunga whakairo (master carver) Kura Te Wanikau-Tahana-Tūroa has led a group of carvers, including three generations from one whānau, to design and create the pou-whenua, Uenuku Te Pou Tipua o Tūroa.

A carved pou-whenua being placed with wet cement by four workers in safety gear.

Uenuku Te Pou Tipua o Tūroa

The project to carve the pou-whenua was funded through the Provincial Growth Fund’s Te Ara Mahi fund. It provided Uenuku people with a sense of mana, and inspiration to move into employment.

The carvers worked closely with Kura Wanikau-Tahana-Tūroa to create the pou, which also attracted the attention of the whole community as it came together. 

The pou was stood up on Saturday 18 July as a celebration of Matariki, to acknowledge the tangata whenua of the Waimārino who lived beneath the shadow of Ruapehu, and to honour the Tūpuna Ariki who lived in the Raetihi area. 

The unveiling of the pou-whenua also completes the Park and Ride and camping facility at the foot of Ruapehu. 

This $2.3 million project was funded by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the Provincial Growth Fund, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and the local Ruapehu community. 

The site provides 207 parking lots, 14 electric vehicle charge stations and capacity to fast charge a fleet of electric buses. It will service Tongariro National Park, ski and hiking areas, Chateau Tongariro and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

Provincial Growth Fund supports Uenuku carving programme

A gathering of people, some with cameras, looking upwards in an outdoor setting.

Members of Uenuku watch their pou, Uenuku Te Pou Tipua o Tūroa, get raised.