Thursday, April 18, 2024

Looking at Pakuranga’s past

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Guests, exhibitors and staff at Pakuranga Library gathered together for the Mihi Whakatau to open Pakuranga Stories exhibition and weaving of the Te Kakahu o Turangawaewae.

On November 5, the exhibition Pakuranga Stories opened with a mihi whakatau (a formal speech of welcome) by Ranieri Kingi, Poukokiri Rangahau Maori for Auckland Libraries. The exhibition, in the Pakuranga Library, continues until November 30.

Pakuranga Stories invites you to “step back 60 years and discover the stories of a new and remote suburb, and of the river that wraps around it”.

It follows the timeline of the rapid growth experienced as farmland was transformed into suburban housing, with the population growing from 277 in 1947, to 34,977 in 1996 throughout the greater Pakuranga Ward.

The exhibition incorporates three aspects – a compiled audio-visual history of Pakuranga by Karen Lawson, Senior Librarian, (with support from other library staff), in part based on recorded interviews with local personalities who recalled memories of earlier local times and places – Reflections on the Pakuranga Creek exhibited by Marilyn J Bakker as part of Pakuranga Stories; and the weaving of Kakahu Turangawaewae with local weaver Paia Swanson Terepo (Nga Puhi).

Paia will be on site between 10am until midday each Saturday and Sunday throughout the exhibition. She invites you to share your stories and memories as she creates and weaves the kakahu (contemporary cloak). When completed, the cloak will hang in the library and symbolise this as a place of belonging for our hapori/community.

As visitors walk and view the exhibition, photographs evoke memories and exclamations of ‘I remember that’.

“What a timely initiative Pakuranga Library has with the Stories of Pakuranga Exhibition running through November,” said Marin Burgess, Heritage Advisor for the Howick & Districts Historical Society.

“With the very major changes ahead for Pakuranga, it is so timely this important junction remains aware of its history, how it developed into such a diverse area now home to so many cultures. From Pakuranga-rahihi to Cabbage Tree Swamp, the Granary of Auckland and even the notorious ‘Vim Valley’, Pakuranga has held its own during many changes.

“The weaving of a cloak as the stories are told is a clever initiative and Marilyn Bakker’s Reflections on Pakuranga Creek illustrate clearly how quickly the environment can change if we ignore it.

“The wise saying quoted in her pamphlet that history is a great river flowing through this land is the connection bringing the exhibition together to provide a clear local focus.”

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