The He Toki lath panel, built by carpentry students and staff at Ara Institute of Canterbury in 2015, was unveiled in a ceremony at Waltham Pool today.
Originally created for the Whole House Reuse exhibition at the Canterbury Museum in 2015, the panel was subsequently gifted to Waltham Pool. The design is by staff at Te Tapuae o Rehua, which oversees He Toki (Māori Trades Training) with Te Rūnunga o Ngāi Tahu, Ara and Hawkins.
Current He Toki students attended the event and performed a haka.
Whole House Reuse exhibition:
The timber (lath) for this project was provided from the deconstruction of a single storey Christchurch red-zone house, and was part of the ‘Whole House Reuse’ project. This project was intended to demonstrate that demolition materials could be recycled and made into items of value and beauty. The strips of timber are known as ‘lath’ and were removed from under the plaster of the internal walls.
The ‘poutama’ (stairway or step-like) pattern presented on the outside of this design symbolises the growth of students, striving ever upwards. In meeting houses, the panels are usually mirror imaged (a reflection) so that the steps climb upwards from both sides to reach the top at the centre.
The central piece of this design is represented by the ‘niho taniwha’ pattern which literally means teeth of the taniwha and represents leadership or that which is portrayed by a chief. The ‘niho taniwha’ design is incorporated within the He Toki ki te Rika logo.
The three larger triangle shapes portray three significant mountains in the South Island; Mauka Aoraki (Aoraki/Mount Cook), Maukatere (Mount Grey) and Te Poho o Tamatea (Mountain overlooking Rāpaki) representative of Ngā Pākihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha (Canterbury).
These symbolise the unique nature of the He Toki programme as an iwi-led partnership in collaboration with tertiary vocational training and industry.