25 Mar 2015

Porirua celebrates life of warrior chief

8:51 am on 25 March 2015

Porirua is planning to celebrate the life of warrior chief Te Rauparaha as part of the city's 50th anniversary this year.

Mayor of Porirua, Nick Leggett, in front of a painting by Robyn Kahukiwa.

Mayor of Porirua, Nick Leggett, in front of a painting by Robyn Kahukiwa. Photo: RNZ / Gareth Thomas

The mayor, Nick Leggett, described the Ka Mate haka composer as Porirua's pre-eminent citizen.

He said carvers from the mana whenua, Ngati Toa, were busy creating a sculpture to honour Te Rauparaha, which would be installed on the harbour foreshore.

Mr Leggett said he did not know what the sculpture will be, as that job is in the hands of the tribe.

He said the artwork will become part of a trail of famous residents, both past and present.

"We're also looking to start our writers' walk, which is a recognition of Porirua artists. We've got some fantastic people who have come from Porirua who have been writers... people like Patricia Grace, Michael King.

"But of course Te Rauparaha with Ka Mate haka, of course, was probably our most famous world-wide writer."

Mr Leggett said people would be guided along the walk by pou and sculptures.

"We're going to kick off that recognition with some kind of sculpture on our foreshore that is a fifthtieth birthday celebratory icon."

He said the writers' walk had been talked about for a long time, but will finally be launched this year.

The mayor said Porirua's official birthday would be on 2 October, marking when it was declared a city in 1965.

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