South Auckland to look at having its own Star Compass

Māori communities in South Auckland will meet this month to discuss the possibility of having a Te Kauae Star Compass structure as a way of engaging Māori and the wider community through practices of the maramataka.

In 2018, 12-stone rock carvings (pou) were created as part of the Rockstars Carving Symposium to celebrate the season of Matariki. Ten local carvers used the Oamaru stone to create a unique maramataka (Māori lunar calendar) portable stone compass in Manukau which is temporarily housed in the Manukau Civic Square.

A collaboration between Healthy Families South Auckland, Manurewa Marae, Manurewa Local Board, Time 2 Train and Te Puni Kokiri, the activation will take place on February 22-23 at Keith Park in Weymouth. The portable stone compass will be uplifted from Manukau Civic Square on February 21 and transported to a site in South Auckland and arranged to replicate what the ‘Te Kauae Star Compass’ would look like.

“It will revitalise traditional Māori practises through contemporary expressions with a Wairua centred approach…A wairua centred approach is the understanding and connectivity to places, people, it places the environment at the centre and people are part of the ecosystem around it,’’ says Healthy Families South Auckland Kāiarahi Māori Mason Ngawhika.

“Inspiration for this kaupapa Te Kauae Star Compass has come from the resurgence within the community of the maramataka Māori lunar calendar. We’ve had a strong focus on assisting in strengthening the maramataka eco-system to grow.”

“We would like to showcase the potential of a star compass structure utilising existing maramataka rock carvings, incorporating dawn karakia, wānanga and tākaro Māori with key community partners.’’

Ngawhika says it is hoped that the activation encourages a community engagement process to develop a whole suite of activations to mobilise the community with the highest Māori concentration in Tamaki Makaurau, using the Star Compass and a range of stakeholders who are key social change agents in the community.

The two-day event will also include a breakfast talk session with Piripi Smith at Manurewa Marae to hear the journey and outcomes of the waka navigational compass Ᾱtea a Rangi Trust created in Hawkes Bay in 2017.

“This is about activating under-utilised spaces through Te Ao Māori, practises, hākinakina (Māori games/movement) and a range of other activities that are connected to the different elements of Te Taiao for Māori, collaborating with Local Board, local iwi, local Marae, local kura and rangatahi groups, local health providers, and local institutions like Wānanga.’’