Waiheke Community Art Gallery’s Maori name, Te Whare Taonga o Waiheke, has been dedicated as part of the gallery’s Matariki celebrations.
A highlight of the ceremony last Friday night was the unveiling of a mauri (foundation) stone by sculptor Paora Toi Te Rangiuaia, who was joint chairman when the gallery first started in the old Artworks complex in the mid-1990s.
The idea for the mauri stone came from kaumatua George Kaahi, Paora says.
The sculptor used stone sourced from Paritu Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula, material he has worked with before – notably at Whakanewha Regional Park.
The hand pattern carved into the stone mirrors a logo created by local artists when the gallery first opened. The plinth is from an old Matiatia wharf piling.
Students from Waiheke High School performed waiata while Education Minister Nikki Kaye was on hand to present the Matariki Schools Art Awards. The entries remain on display until 24 July. • Geoff Cumming