Martin De Ruyter / Stuff
Students from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tuia Te Matangi and other guests at the unveiling of new murals and signs at the entrance to Trafalgar Park.
Jade Smith, 15, can’t wait to show her friends Nelson’s new murals around Trafalgar Park.
The young artist and illustrator, affiliated with Ngāti Kuia, was part of the rangatahi (youth) team that created the murals with multidisciplinary Maori artist Tauranga Graham Hoete aka “Mr G”.
On the walkway to Trafalgar Park from the river, artwork features a shag, a two-headed kererū (New Zealand pigeon) and a dolphin, creatures that are woven atop the iwi story of the south and pūrākau (stories).
“Kaikaiāwaro, the dolphin, led Matua Hautere through the sounds and through the mountains so we could build from there,” Smith explained.
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Earlier this year, the rangatahi spent two days learning history, telling stories and conjuring up ideas, Smith said.
The artwork “brought a bit of sparkle and a bit more life to the area” and was a great sign of hope for the future of young people.
“I can’t wait to tell the story and tell my friends or my kids in the future like, hey, I painted this with MG”
Te Puni Kōkiri (Ministry of Maori Development) kaitohutohu-ā-rohe (Regional Councillor) Leighton Ngawaka said that in te ao Māori young people were recognized as the leaders of tomorrow.
But listening to them talk, their hopes, dreams and aspirations, Ngawaka (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngaati Maahanga) had other thoughts.
“The kōrero in this room was like the kōrero of today’s rulers,” said a visibly moved Ngawaka.
Mr. G (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Awa) said the work aimed to strengthen the identity of the rangatahi who connect to this rohe (region) in terms of traditional stories.
“The goal is to continually remind them of who they are,” he said.
The word tūmanako is the Maori word for hope – and the new taonga (treasures) of Whakatū are part of a national project spreading the word across the country.
The kaupapa (initiative) was born out of a dark period in MG’s life eight years ago when he was suicidal. Out of this gloom came a ray of light.
“That’s where I discovered the true power of hope, and how powerful and beautiful this thing called hope is,” he told those who witnessed the unveiling of the murals. Friday.
“For me, hope has two functions. One is to heal a broken person. And second, it also inspires a person to dream for the future.
Part of the mural includes an image of two joining hands – a reminder to stay in touch with those you love.
“I know for myself that when I was going through a dark time, the last thing I was going to do was ask for help,” said MG
“Come in, whānau (family). Reach your brothers, reach your kids, reach your cousins and check each other, okay? »
The mural project was funded by Te Puni Kōkiri Ministry of Māori Development and carried out with local support from NCC, Ngā Iwi o Te Tau Ihu, Whakatū Marae, rangatahi and local stakeholders, Community Venues Limited and the Tasman Rugby Union .