At the dawn unveiling the Tangaora pou (l to r): NZTA Tāipa Bridge project manager Sean Ryder, Tāipa Area School principal Doreen Bailey, and Fulton Hogan’s Northland Bridge’s project manager Dan McKessar.
Four beautifully carved and painted pou bear witness to Fulton Hogan’s Taipa Bridge Project team’s relationship with Northland’s Tāipa Area School, iwi and community.
Carved by local kaimahi Darrin Pivac with Tāipa Area School students and supported by Fulton Hogan, each pou carries its own story and aroha. The pou pictured represents Tangaora, the god of the sea. The others are Tāwhirimātea, Rongo-ma-tane and Māui.
The four pou encircle the top section of the former Tāipa monument that was installed in the early 1980’s. Following NZTA-led consultation with hapu, the community and school, Fulton Hogan removed the top section of the concrete monument and relocated it to the school’s grounds to allow for road realignment as part of the Tāipa Bridge project. Fulton Hogan is further supporting senior school leader Shiquille Duval, the student team and Darrin Pivac with an intricate carving around the concrete base of the former monument, a stylised depiction of Kupe’s waka.
Tāipa Bridge is part of the Northland Bridges Programme of works being delivered by Civil North and Northland region. A unique feature of Tāipa’s new bridge is a ‘viewing platform’ designed after consultation revealed children were hankering for a safe and approved launch pad for ‘bombing’ into the river.
The Tāipa Bridge will be officially opened in December and at this time, an additional pou will be unveiled by the water’s edge.