Maori carved post fails to sell at NZ auction

A Maori carved rimu post is being sent back overseas, after it failed to sell at a New Zealand auction.

The poutokomanawa (centre post) measures about 1.3 metres high and supports the ridge pole of an ancestral house.

It was designed by carver, Anaha Te Rahui, who in 1864 was acknowledged as the leader of Ngati Tarawhai and led many Te Arawa campaigns on behalf of the Government.

Webb’s Auction House managing director Neil Campbell says the piece received a bid of $50,000, which was rejected by the Italian owners.
He says the piece was expected to fetch $250,000 on the international market, but the owners set a lower reserve of $90,000, acknowledging that the post originally came from New Zealand.

Mr Campbell says he’s sad to see it go.
Once it leaves New Zealand the carved post will be sent to the United States to be part of a major international auction.