Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui iwi has gifted a beautiful whale bone taonga (prized treasure), to New Zealand King Salmon Chief Executive Grant Rosewarne.

The taonga, commissioned by Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui, was presented by Te Ātiawa Heamana Tuarua (Vice Chair) Ron Riwaka in a ceremony held on July 6 in Nelson.

Representing the “paramount chief” of the company, the piece will be worn by Mr Rosewarne at appropriate occasions and, when not in use, will be proudly displayed in his office.

“I want to thank Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui for their gift. It is an honour to both wear it and display it at our office in Nelson. Our business operates in a special place of New Zealand and, alongside the iwi of the top of the south, we work to protect and enhance it with the respect that the Marlborough Sounds deserves,” Mr Rosewarne says.

“It was a privilege to host Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui Heamana (Chair) the Venerable Archdeacon Emeritus Harvey Ruru QSM at AquaVision in Norway early this year and we look forward to continuing to grow our close relationship.”

Grant Rosewarne receiving the taonga from Ron Riwaka , Vice Chair Te Atiawa

Grant Rosewarne wearing his taonga gift from Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui iwi

The features embodied in the taonga are:

  • Te Porowhita – the closed circle representing the never-ending circle of life and nature and the belief that life has no beginning or end.
  • Te Koru – the spiral in the upper and lower background depicts new beginnings, growth and harmony.
  • Te Maunga – the mountain illustrates much of the Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui rohe (territory) both in the Marlborough Sounds and Te Tau Ihu (top of the South Island).
  • Te Moana – the waters of Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui are seen flowing at the base of the mountain.
  • Te Raukura – the three feathers as depicted the foreground were traditionally worn by people of rank and mana, reflecting leadership, hope, aspiration and the achievement of a common vision for all. The three feathers also encompass teachings of the Bible: He whaikororia ki te Atua i runga rawa – Glory to God on high, He maungarongo ki runga i te mata o te whenua – Peace on earth, He whakaaro pai ki te tangata – Goodwill to all mankind.
    Te Raukura is a symbol which continues to guide Māori people today with wisdom and hope for a peaceful co-existence.
  • Te Hāmana – the salmon in the foreground symbolises New Zealand King Salmon and its association with Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui.