Apr 17, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

“Eye of the Taniwha” artist looks for other hillside options

1 min read

(RadioNZ) A tattoo artist says he’s still determined to get his Eye of the Taniwha design fixed to a Wellington hillside to remind people of the capital’s rich Maori history.

Stephen Maddock’s design was on the Wellington Regional Council shortlist for a permanent sign on a hillside near the airport but failed to win the competition.

He says he’s prepared to talk to the local iwi, Te Atiawa, or the Wellington Tenths Trust, which owns land near the airport, and get their support to install the mural.

Mr Maddock says the Miramar Peninsula could be landscaped in such a way as to bring out the taniwha features, with the eye giving it a face looking over the harbour.

The Wellington artist says the beauty of the concept is that if the eye is done well it would easily blend into the natural features of the hillside.

He says it would be a cost effective way for Wellington City Council to maintain the hill in an environmentally and culturally friendly way.

The concept has been endorsed by a Wellington kaumatua who says the Taniwha Eye moving with the wind would give the effect it was watching over the harbour and would represent a creation legend well documented in Maori mythology.

Mr Maddock says that, according to legend, the taniwha travelled to the area and, as Taniwha Whataitai, became part of the Miramar Peninsula and surrounding hills.

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