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Reward Offered for the Return of ‘Ōrongomai’

Ngā Toi Māori
image Image courtesy of The Summit Road Society

Ōrongomai, by Ngāti Wheke carver Caine Tauwhare, has been taken from the John Jameson lookout on Summit Rd in the Christchurch Port Hills.

The lookout is named after Summit Road Society founder John Jameson.

His daughter, Paula Jameson, the society’s acting president, is devastated by the theft.

“We put years into creating the lookout in memory of my father and of all the volunteers who have worked on our reserves, and the pou whenua is integral to it. We’ve had so much positive feedback from the community about it since it was installed and to lose it now is devastating”.

The society commissioned Caine Tauwhare to create a pou whenua (post marker) when it redeveloped the lookout. It represents the partnership between the Summit Road Society and Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke.

The theft was reported on the April 2nd after the carving was taken some time over Easter Weekend.

The carving is 1.5m tall and stood on a 2.5m high plinth. It weighs about 60kg. It was fixed with bolts, which were welded in place.

“They would have needed to cut it out with a grinder,” Caine Tauwhare says. “It would have taken three or four people to get it off and carry it.”

The Summit Road Society is seeking the safe return of their pou whenua, Ōrongomai and is offering a reward for its safe return.

A $1000 reward is offered by the Summit Road Society for information leading to a successful recovery of the stolen carving.

The return of the carving is also covered by the reward.

If you have relevant information please email manager@summitroadsociety.org.nz.

Alternatively, contact the police citing case number 240402/2072.

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