Cultural Narrative: Te Ngutu

30 September 2021

Te Ngutu, our ceremonial entranceway, is currently being assembled onsite at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.


Called Te Aika, which means ‘the home people’, this artwork has been designed by Simon Kaan and Rachael Rakena, with SCAPE Public Art producing the structure in collaboration with Matapopore. The design was inspired by the distinctive southern maihi, or diagonal bargeboards, on whare on the bank of the Horotueka (Cam River).

Other influences include: the kōtuku, which is considered a good omen; karanga weaving imagery as a tribute to Ngāi Tūāhuriri wāhine (women); the kahu huruhuru or cloak as a symbol of welcome, warmth, mana and protection; and Te Ao Mārama or world of world of life and light (wisdom and understanding).

This artwork represents much more than a physical presence outside of Te Pae Christchurch. It depicts the history and fabric that makes up the Canterbury region, as well as the people that live there, and New Zealand's culture and identity.