Waikanae’s Te Ara Tangata, the people's pathway, opens
A small ceremony was held in Waikanae today to mark the opening of the beautiful and distinctive Te Ara Tangata cultural thread pathway, reports the Kāpiti Coast District Council.
Mayor K Gurunathan said improving the pathway on Frater Lane is a key part of the transformation of Waikanae town centre.
“The lane is of historic significance, linking the the Whakarongotai Marae to the Ruakohatu Urupā and original Waikanae Village,” said Mayor Gurunathan.
The 50-metre-long path’s stunning pattern contributes to the vision of the town centre being a focus for arts and culture. It includes several meaningful references:
- it reflects the original pātikitiki wallpaper designs and stained-glass windows within the marae’s meeting house
- it represents purapura whetū (the myriad of stars). “Those who have turned into stars, glimmering in the night sky and watching over us.”
- the triangular chevrons can be interpreted as a waka (spirit medium of an atua), and also as the tip of the hoe (used to row or paddle waka). People travel on the waka to and from the marae.
Mayor Gurunathan thanked Council’s Kaumātua Koro Don Te Māipi for his cultural guidance and contribution to today’s ceremony.
“Thank you also to the community for their patience during construction, everyone who helped create the path and those who looked after us after the blessing,” said Mayor Gurunathan.
Community consultation on the transformation of the Waikanae town centre started in 2014. In collaboration with the community, iwi and businesses, Council agreed a vision to create a vibrant, diverse and thriving town centre. So far, Council has completed the redevelopment of Mahara Place, better lighting, planting, and seating, as well as pedestrian access from the commuter car park, past the marae and through to Mahara Place. Stage one of Te Ara Tangata was finished in 2018.
Find out more about the transformation of the Waikanae town centre here.
Photo caption: Kāpiti Coast District Council Iwi Partnerships Manager, Kahu Ropata helps perform the blessing of Te Ara Tangata under the guidance of Council Kuia June Davis and Kaumatua Don Te Māipi