Tuesday 12 March 2019

Haere ra to Wellington

With thanks to WellingtonNZ
After the brownest Bircher muesli I have ever encountered (and I am an expert) I went back down to the waterfront for this morning's activity, which began at Te Wharewaka o Poneke by the Wairepo Lagoon. Here I met Ariki, a tall and strong-looking, thoughtful and intelligent young Maori woman who welcomed me to the architecturally untraditional whare with a karakia and took me for a walk around the area, giving me the other side of the European history that was all I ever learned back in the unenlightened days. At least I did already, thanks to Jimmy yesterday, know that it was Kupe depicted in the statue outside, and I was able to show Ariki that I knew the creation story behind Wellington Harbour too. Points!
It was interesting, though - Ariki is from Taranaki and her maunga is naturally the one I spent a couple of days circling and obsessively photographing recently, but I never noticed that all carved figures there have pointed heads in recognition of its mana. 
We spent an hour walking and talking, with me learning a lot, and then, after a coffee and pain au chocolat at the gorgeous Louis Sergeant café, I was finished with Wellington for the present, and headed home again, well satisfied with my short-notice junket.

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