The artist Jacob Manu Scott drew inspiration from the poetry of Hone Tuwhare and Māori values to develop the pieces carved into three granite panels of the Australian Memorial. He describes the columns of the memorial in the context of the New Zealand landscape being seen as Pou, memorial marker stakes in the ground [which] usually epitomise an ancestor or tipuna of repute’. Scott goes on to describe the works as ‘recognising the values of relationships and the principles that underpin the sustainability and development of culture and these relationships’.

Pou 1 – Wairuatanga

Wairuatanga, the embedded spirit. The physical realm is immersed and integrated with the spiritual realm, and within this construct many Māori concepts and values are imbedded within everyday practice, people and things influencing attitudes and behaviour. Wairuatanga can also be looked at as a way of sustaining relationships between people and place in a positive multidimensional way. To acknowledge and practise Māori beliefs and values is acknowledging both the physical and spiritual realms bringing them together as one for purpose.

Pou 2 – Whanaungatanga

Whanaungatanga is based on ancestral and spiritual connections and inter-relationships. The concept of whanaungatanga embraces whakapapa (genealogy) yet also extends beyond, encouraging group relationships and a sense of family connection. Rangatiratanga recognises people’s rights to self determination. People and things should be able to be seen to have responsibility for aspects of their own future. Manaakitanga supports and values the idea of individuals and concepts, it could be seen as welcoming and embracing ideas, people, places and things. When combined with concepts of mana and rangatiratanga, maybe this could be explored in the validity of new ideas and solutions. Mana involves acknowledgement and respect. This could be seen as acknowledging and valuing the life inherent in qualities of people, materials and place.

Pou 3 – Kaitiakitanga

Kaitiakitanga involves guardianship and stewardship. In architectural terms this could translate to recognition of a need to sustain cultural and environmental features. Orangatanga seeks to maintain health and well being of a community. Mauritanga involves the essence life force inherent in all things. This provides a challenge to give things life and ensure they are vital and dynamic.

Updated on 23rd July 2015