Pounamu placed at Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial

February 2017

A significant kōhatu pounamu installation has been placed near the entrance to the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, Associate Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regenetation Nicky Wagner says.

“There is an established Māori tradition of placing pounamu at important entranceways, and the ritual of touching the stone connects visitors back to the land and all those who have been there before them,” Ms Wagner says.

“The 265-kilogram pounamu has been sourced from a remote South Westland valley and gifted by Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio, a Ngāi Tahu sub-tribe. It’s a special contribution to an area that will mean a lot to Cantabrians and the families of those affected by the earthquakes.

“The pounamu has been mounted onto a plinth with a Carrara marble base. A water feature representing the mauri of wai (spiritual energy of water) will spray water across the pounamu. The water will also accentuate the rich green colour of the pounamu.

“Ōtākaro Limited, Christchurch City Council, Matapopore Charitable Trust (manawhenua representative), Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage have worked closely with families, those who were severely injured and first responders through the development of the design for the Memorial,” Ms Wagner says.

The Memorial will be dedicated on 22 February, in a joint event with the annual Civic commemorative ceremony to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake.