After several emails, messages, texts and calls, an investigation into this magnificent pou whenua situated at Trent Street remains incomplete. Like the other three pou whenua created as part of the new section of the Whau Coastal Walkway, our Trent St pou has no plaque, while its significant presence is begging for recognition. It truly is a beautiful piece.
To date… Our pou is a pakoko (effigy) or tekoteko (carved human form) made in the likeness of Rakataura, a tohunga ariki from the Tainui waka - a great tupuna that the whenua and surrounding iwi of Tamaki Makaurau whakapapa to. With immense mana and fire, he is guardian and gatekeeper of the walkway.
When created, he carried a pakoko-atua in his right hand as Tohunga. Behind his back, was a toki poutangata showing his ariki (chief) status. Sadly, these have been broken off by vandals, which I can’t help but think wouldn’t have happened if people were aware of who they were messing with!
Auckland Transport’s Marcus Pillay managed this massive project that began with sourcing the naturally harvested Totara wood our pou is made of. The work was commissioned by Te Kawerau a Maki iwi and carved by Hauraki artist, Darin Jenkins.