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Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga - a special place at Parliament

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

There’s no doubt that you are approaching a special place as you near Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga, the Māori Affairs select committee room.

The impressive carved entrance draws you towards the room. The carvings show the legends and stories of Wellington Region tangata whenua, Te Ati Awa, and of Te Whanganui a Tara (Wellington Harbour).

The inside of the Māori Affairs select committee room is equally special. Former Speaker Hon Sir Peter Tapsell said Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga had "a magnificent set of carvings and tukutuku showing the styles of many different iwi and making overall a place where the four winds of Māoridom are represented".

The four winds theme was especially chosen by Māori members of Parliament to ensure all Māori could identify with the room, Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga, and Parliament.

After consultation with kaumātua (elders), three master carvers from different iwi were commissioned to complete the work: Te Wārihi Hetaraka (iwi North Auckland), Albert Poai Te Pou (Tūhoe), and Rangi Hetet (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tūwharetoa). Weavers from North Auckland and Te Whānau Paneke of Lower Hutt were chosen to weave the tukutuku.

Carvings and tukutuku panels represent the legends, stories and life lessons of iwi from across Aotearoa (New Zealand). The northern and southern walls show legends of famed Māori ancestor Māui and Māori gods. The western wall shows stories of the ancestors and life lessons for future generations. Kupe’s voyages of exploration and discovery adorn the eastern walls.

Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga was formally blessed at a dawn ceremony on 2 November 1995 and visited by Queen Elizabeth II when Her Majesty reopened Parliament Buildings after extensive refurbishment.

The room is centrally located at Parliament. This prominent location reflects the room’s mana as the place where the Māori Affairs Select Committee discusses and deliberates on issues, law, and policy.

Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga is one of five themed committee rooms at Parliament. Former Māori Affairs select committee room, Matangareia is the sixth themed room at Parliament. It is place where all iwi can meet in peaceful, harmonious, and tranquil surroundings.

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