Te Ahi Ka - Enduring Fires

Te Ahi Ka - Enduring Fires, sculpture, Auckland, public art

Public Art : Te Ahi Ká - Enduring Fires

Sculptor : © Ngati Whatua artisans

Description : A large engraved boulder with a flame that erupts from its top as water flows down into a pool.

Date Unveiled : 2003

Location : The fiery sculpture can be found outside  Britomart, Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand.

History of the TeAhi Ja sculpture : This was a gift from Ngati Whatua to the people of Auckland.

Inscription :

Te Ahi Ká - The Enduring Fires: Keeping the home fires burning is essential in maintaining mana (authority) and the right to occupy a place. Ngati Whatua are the keepers of the fire for Tamaki Makaurau - Auckland.

Who are the Ngati Whatua? Ngāti Whātua is a Māori tribe which consist of 4 subtribes: Te Uri-o-Hau, Te Roroa, Te Taoū, and Ngāti Whātua-o-Ōrākei. The Ngāti Whātua occupied the site of present day Auckland (including Waitakere City).

The Ngāti Whātua's main rival were the Ngapuhi tribe who occupied land further north. In the 19th century, around 1807, the Ngapuhi pushed to gain more land closer to the main ports by attacking the Ngāti Whātua. The battle, which became known as Moremonui (seagull's feast) was the first time both tribes used muskets (Western weapons.) Interestingly the Ngapuhi were caught off guard when they paused to reload and were overrun by the Ngāti Whātua, who were then armed with hand weapons. Moremonui, in all likelihood, was the first battle of the Musket Wars.

In 1825 the Ngapuhi had their revenge when they defeated Ngāti Whātua in the battle of Te Ika a Ranganui.

In 1840, Ngāti Whātua offered land at Tamaki Makaurau to Governor William Hobson in the hope of attracting more European settlements and therefore more commercial and political opportunities for the tribe. In response to the offer Hobson moved the capital of New Zealand to the area and named it Auckland in 1941 in honor of Lord Auckland. Auckland would remain the capital until 1865 when it was moved to Wellington.

Te Ahi Ka - Enduring Fires, Auckland, public art

Te Ahi Ka - Enduring Fires, Auckland, public art

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