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TE NGAKAU CIVIC SQUARE



2019
Wellington Central Library Competition

collaborated with Jason Tan, Tyler Harlen and poet Michelle Curnow
NZIA Wellington Central Library Competition Exhibition



SYNOPSIS

Te Waka Huia: The treasure box.

Te Waka Huia looks at Wellington Central Library as a collection of memories within the city, rather than just a collection of books. This collective memory of the city is represented through designed and collected forms and objects. These objects denote the past present and future histories, both Māori and Pākehā, of wellington city and its library. Each memory is made to be shared by the people of wellington city and those who come to use the library.











Te Ika-a-Māui



the head of the fish
a commodity taken
sold

and rebuilt
again

                    and again
and                               then

convulsion                 cloven
fallible change


and rebuilt
again

                   and again
history

exposed through
fractures                     fissures

stories
revealed      in cracks
in mortar

and brick

in timber
persistence

the city
                     perseveres, but

remembers


























Te Ngākau



if not for the keepers,
defenders of words

surveying
the past, across
an inaudible
                  pulse

                 - it may have been

here always
say tamariki underneath the nikau

as darkness comes
they
make their way

inside the one from before




















Waka Huia



still
the mountain’s cleft
enclosing

remember, she says

balancing
fables and
                   follies
upon her back

moving
briskly, now
descending stairs

and passing
                    the past
immortalised in stone

swiftly
                    under
the fronds, she says

                    that day in the square
sunny and
ponga and people
everywhere

under the portico
she disappears

through a swathe of glass

















Rākau



two statues
                   their stories, and
their histories

                   interwoven

lattice panels, now
decorative                   only

history proves
a cautionary
tale

to the respite

of the quiet                 the weary
the curious minds

copper trunks stand
formidable
aside the littlest

scholars
making their debuts

eagerly
                    undeterred
they find their way

                   playful
palms adorn
















Cross Section



and now
                  verging upon
a cusp

stories yet
to be heard, or
be               lived

the past
demands dismantling of

ideas         ingrained
relearning
                  rebuilding

remembering