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The Carvings both inside and outside the wharenui (including the flagpole) were created under the supervision of master carver Hone Heke. Together, they represent the pan-tribal, inclusive nature of the marae and its name: Te Ngira.

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Kowhaiwhai Rafters

Kowhaiwhai Rafters

Kōwhaiwhai patterns complete the decorations for a meetinghouse and express the strength of nature- sea, forest, contours of the land, the lift of a bird in flight, the tree tops, foliage and life's challenges. Kōwhaiwhai als provide a link with ancestors and the legacies they handed on to present and future generations. Colours relate to the kaupapa (philosophy) of the house as a place of learning. Kōwhaivwhai patterns suggest strong movements within the ecological checks and balances in nature's cycles. Having an affinity with the spiritual realm, there Is a coming and going of being lost and found, the eternal search for the meaning of life. The stylised patterns highlight the human attempt to express order on a landscape that is shrouded in mist, and a seascape that dissolves in spray. Heke on both sides of the house share the same patterns where one mirrors the other. Each heke reaches across to the opposite side of the house through the curves and curls of koru patterns, in this way the genealogical links between major tribes are maintained. This is known as whaka-whanaungatanga. The pattern on the tāhuhu (ridge-pole) running along the tops of the rafters, is Manawa (heart). It is the heart which carries the blood links with all parts of the house kōruru, poupou, heke, pou-tahutahu, poutaurongo all given expression in this whare whakairo. Symbolically the meeting house is also the body of an ancestor. This pattern is named Manawa and is characteristically drawn from the surrounding environs of Papakura, Manukau and Hunua.
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