13 Apr 2015

Māori protocol helps re-home sculpture

6:32 am on 13 April 2015

Auckland Council is acknowledging the power of tikanga Māori in helping it find a new home for a life-sized sculpture of a North Shore kaumatua.

Te Wero is a bronze casting of the late Arnold Manaaki Wilson, which was made for ASB bank nearly five decades ago.

Te Wero

Te Wero Photo: Auckland Council

The work depicts Mr Wilson in a crouching position and was created by artist Lyndon Smith.

The son of Arnold Wilson, Anthony Wilson, thanked the council for its efforts in gifting the sculpture to Awataha Marae, with the blessing of Smith's family.

The council's manager of arts and culture programming, Hanna Scott, was happy it could gift the work to the pā, despite a few road blocks.

She said tikanga Māori really worked to resolve the situation.

Ms Scott approached the Marae to get advice about what to do with the taonga and said it began talks about how they might move the work and about gifting it to the pā.

A pre-dawn ceremony will be held tomorrow to unveil Te Wero at its new home at the Marae, on the North Shore.

Anthony Wilson said his father's crouching pose for Te Wero mirrored that of the Māori warrior from the old New Zealand shilling, who was crouching down holding a taiaha or spear.

He said his father had passed away and the gifting of the sculpture to Awataha Marae was like he was returning home.

  • Sculpture returns to Awataha
  • Artist demands cliff carving royalties
  • Bronze sculpture still being considered