The gateway to Ahiparapara

Published on 07 July 2022

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A large crowd of more than 100 people gathered in the early hours of Saturday morning for the unveiling of the two giant carvings created by renowned local Māori artist, BJ Natanahira.

The new cultural gateway is located just outside the Te Rarawa Rugby Club on the right side of Ahipara Road and just before Ahipara School on the left-hand side.

Inspired by the kōrero (stories) of tangata whenua (people of the land), Ahiparapara's new cultural gateway provides a beautiful and meaningful welcome to the small coastal township.

The gateway forms part of the Te Hiku Open Spaces Revitalisation Project, which will feature a range of cultural artworks at the gateway entrances to various Te Hiku townships.

Each of the five Te Hiku iwi will provide the artwork features and plaques within the open spaces, streetscapes, and along the shared pathways across the region to tell the stories and history of each local iwi.

Councillor Felicity Foy said the gateways to our Te Hiku townships were a key aspect to the original scoping of the Te Hiku o Te Ika Masterplan

"A key principle of the masterplan is to be iwi- and community-led. The gateways are a recognition and celebration and provide the opportunity to tell the stories of our history, our people, and our culture."

The new cultural gateway cost approximately $100,000 and took around four months to complete.

You can read more about the Te Hiku Revitalisation Project here.