Home-Places of significant interest in Taupo

The magnificant Māori rock carvings

Kia ora.

The Māori rock carvings at Mine Bay on Lake Taupō are over 10 metres high and are only accessible by boat. The spiritual and cultural beauty of these magnificent Māori carving towers above the deep see through waters of the Great magnificent Lake Taupō.

In the late 1970s, master carver Matahi Brightwell came to his mother's land at Lake Taupō. On a boat trip around the Western Bays he saw the cliffs at Mine Bay and he decided to use them as a canvas for his work of Māori carvings.

Matahi decided to carve a likeness of Ngātoroirangi, a visionary Māori navigator who guided the Tūwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupō area over a thousand years ago. In many ways of the multi-cultural nature of New Zealand, Matahi also carved two smaller figures of Celtic design, which depict the south wind and a mermaid. The Ngātoroirangi carving took four summers to complete and the carvers took no payment only donations to make something to stand on or they will fall in the water. The carving has become an important cultural attraction for the region and is a wonderful gift to the local people and visitors alike.

By Pare, Cole and Maea

In the late 1970s, master carver, Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell had just completed his 10-year training period with Maori elders. He decided to go for a trip to his mother's land. When he got there he went on a boat trip to Mine Bay and noticed unusual looking cliffs and saw the opportunity to do a carving. The main carving he did is 10 metres high and it took four summers to finish.

He also carved a mermaid to represent the east and west. It didn't cost him because lots of people gave donations to Matahi. The carving has become a important cultural attraction for lots of visitors.

By Jarrel, Uanuku and Whaita

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