Whenua pou overlooking Te Whakaraupō stolen

Apr 10, 2024

Ōrongomai, by Ngāti Wheke carver Caine Tauwhare, has been taken from the John Jameson lookout on Summit Rd in the Christchurch Port Hills.

The pou whenua sculpture was carved from totara for the Summit Road Society and symbolises the significance of Ōrongomai to Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke. The carving is shaped like a taringa (ear) and evokes the nearby peak, Ōrongomai, which means ‘the place where voices are heard’.

Ngāti Wheke carver Caine Tauwhare and the pou whenua Ōrongomai.

The lookout is named after Summit Road Society founder John Jameson.

His daughter, Paula Jameson, the society’s acting president, is devastated by the theft.

“We put years into creating the lookout in memory of my father, and the pou whenua is integral to it. We’ve had so much positive feedback from the community about it since it was installed and to lose it now is devastating.

The society commissioned Caine Tauwhare to create a pou whenua (post marker) when it redeveloped the lookout.

The theft was reported on Tuesday after the sculpture was taken some time over Easter Weekend.

“I don’t know who did this or why, but it makes me sad. I just want them to bring it back,” says Caine Tauwhare.

He says the pou whenua is an integral focus of the design of the John Jameson Lookout, representing the partnership between the Summit Road Society and Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke.

“We tautoko the Summit Road Society for their loss.”

The carving is 1.5m tall and stood on a 2.5m high plinth. It weighs about 60kg. It was fixed with bolts, which were welded in place.

“They would have needed to cut it out with a grinder,” Caine Tauwhare says.

“It would have taken three or four people to get it off and carry it.”


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