Celebration for project's completion

By Victoria White

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Crowds gathered for an official ceremony to celebrate the final installation of the Turauwha Pou, which will tell the story of Otatara Pa. Photo / Duncan Brown
Crowds gathered for an official ceremony to celebrate the final installation of the Turauwha Pou, which will tell the story of Otatara Pa. Photo / Duncan Brown

The final instalment of pou at Otatara Pa yesterday was a celebration of Napier's heritage and pathways for the future.

An official ceremony celebrated the completion of the Otatara Pa story as depicted by the Turauwha Pou and accompanying story boards, the result of a partnership project between Ngati Paarau and Napier City Council.

The completion of Te Ara o Nga Tipuna, Pathways of our Ancestors, at Otatara Pa was also the launch of a new addition to the Rotary Pathway network.

Napier mayor Bill Dalton attended the ceremony at the historic site as did former mayor Barbara Arnott, who represented Rotary Pathways Trust, to launch Te Ara o Matareta, Maggie's Way.

The Trust asked Ngati Paarau for permission to extend the pathways network through Otatara Pa, connecting to the Western Hills sections, with construction due to begin at the end of April.

The first four pou in Te Ara o Nga Tipuna were installed in 2012, but the project was conceived from a 2009 survey which identified safety concerns in several of Taradale's parks and reserves.

The then Safer Community co-ordinator, Robyn Smith, had the idea of creating a cultural trail to encourage more people to use the parks, as people felt safer when more people were around.

Local historian Pat Parsons worked with a small group to select the appropriate historical stories and local artists from the hapu, Hugh Tareha and Roberta Hawaikirangi, created the pou and accompanying story boards.

Mrs Arnott said without a generous bequest given by Basil McCoward in honour of his late wife, Margaret, this project would have taken much longer to start. "This is going to benefit both projects, by allowing residents and visitors easier access to this amazing place, and encouraging people to learn more about our city's history."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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