Unveiling of a Maori legend

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Ngai Tahu Property development boss Gordon Craig (right) takes a sneak peek at Queenstown’s latest public art.

The official unveiling is at tomorrow’s dawn blessing of Queenstown’s Post Office Precinct.

The 36-panel balustrade, above Horne Creek – created by Ngai Tahu artist Ross Hemera – depicts the Maori legend of Hakitekura, the first woman to swim across Lake Waka­­­tipu. Along the piazza it’s interspersed by seven lighting globes.

Hakitekura’s legend also inspired the naming of the five Precinct buildings – Tahuna, or Queenstown flat, for the new courthouse; Te Taumata, or Ben Lomond spur, for the old courthouse; Ka Kamu, or Cecil and Walter Peaks, for the Pig & Whistle building; Te Nuku, or Kawarau Peninsula, for the weatherboard building; and Te Ahi, or Refuge Point, for the almost-completed Post Office building.

The piazza deck by Horne Creek also features a tree planter clad in greywacke stone taken from the 1930s Post Office building formerly on the site.

Former Ngai Tahu tribal leader Sir Tipene O’Regan will conduct tomorrow’s blessing in front of 120 guests.
For local mayor Clive Geddes and council chief executive Duncan Field it will be their second dawn start – they got their dates mixed up and turned up by themselves on August 25.