Anton’s waka sculpture Te Aroha was crafted out of a fallen 700-year-old pōhutukawa tree from Mātiatia. Peter Rees Photography

Waiheke sculptor Anton Forde has completed his carvings on a 16-metre waka sculpture that now sits proud above the Pūtiki inlet where Polynesian voyagers first made landfall some 700 years ago.

Ngāti Paoa blessed the waka in a dawn ceremony at its new home on the grounds of Postage Stamp Winery on Saturday and gifted it the name Te Aroha.

Four years in the making, the intricate and beautifully carved sculpture reflects island life, featuring Tangaroa, the Māori god of the sea, kuaka/godwits, stingray/whai, albatross raukura/feather and the plentiful pukeko that live nearby. It also features original hardwood wharf piles from Mātiatia and Kennedy Point. • Liza Hamilton

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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