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  Brett Graham: Kaiwhakatere - The Navigator

Brett Graham: Kaiwhakatere - The Navigator. Image by Amy Schulz Photography

Presented to the city in 2000, assisted by grants from Tower Corporation, The Mrs O.G. (Tup) Lang Trust, Wellington City Council and contributions from other businesses, families and trusts. Commissioned in honour of Henry Lang, 1919 - 1997, Secretary to the Treasury, co-founder of the Wellington Sculpture Trust in 1982.

"The sculptures are based on the tools of navigation. They acknowledge the site as original shoreline; where canoes were launched and kaimoana gathered; the presence of the two papakainga in the vicinity, Pipitea and Kumototo; and the proximity of Parliament in the present day.

"Throughout Polynesia, the navigator is exalted as pathfinder and innovator for visionary qualities necessary for discerning leadership.

"The three simple granite block shapes represent a bird's head (manu), a waka (canoe) and tuahu (altar).

"The bird's head guides the traveller. It is a symbol of our inheritance in this land and of the future and the paths we may follow.

"The waka or crescent moon shape symbolises a hopeful new beginning. The canoe suggests embarking on a journey, as did our ancestors, Maori and Pakeha.

"The tuahu, an altar of stones, built on arrival in a new land, suggests promises and challenges."

Brett Graham


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