Friday, 19 May 2023 - 1:55pm

Tomokanga a bold statement

1 min read

News article photos (6 items)

Waitematā DHQ's traditional carved tomokanga.
Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha, Superintendent Naila Hassan and Tāmaki Makaurau Director Partnerships Superintendent Scott Ge
The first glimpse of the tomokanga.
A rousing haka was performed to the tomokanga.
District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan spoke of the significance of the taonga.
Novi Marikena, the artist's father, explained the meaning behind each section of the carving.

A striking carved tomokanga has taken pride of place at the front of Waitematā's District Headquarters.

The traditional Māori carved entranceway was formally unveiled in a ceremony earlier this month attended by Henderson Station staff, district leaders, members of the local Hoani Waititi Marae community, Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha and Tāmaki Makaurau Director of Partnerships, Superintendent Scott Gemmell. Close up of Hine Titama

The intention behind the tomokanga, originally suggested by Inspector Stefan Sagar during his tenure as West Area Commander, was to make it a more inviting and hospitable place for all visitors to the station.

It's been around four years in the making, both conceptually and physically, and kaupapa has evolved over that time into something much deeper.

"It is a celebration of the relationships that have been built with Iwi Māori in our district and our desire to continue to foster and strengthen those, and new relationships," said District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan.

Waitematā District Māori Responsiveness Manager, Inspector Todd Barlett, said it's also a declaration of commitment, in line with our core Police values.

"It’s also a bold statement of accountability to the community in terms of responsiveness to Māori."

The tokomanga was carved by a young local Māori artist Mihaka Marikena, through ties with Hoani Waititi Marae.

Its design is purposeful, and each component holds significant meaning. Entitled 'Te Tāngaengaetanga o Te Mauri Tangata' - meaning the balance of spirituality, the design is intended to inact 'pure' (puu-ree) or an act of cleansing to lift some of the heaviness those who come to the station may be experiencing.

It’s also intended as a tribute to all Pirihimana who have lost their lives serving their community.

Annotated tomokanga