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Heritage and culture takes pride of place at Huntly Library and Council Office

Local carver Hohepa Karaka Peni has lovingly created Maaori carvings for the new-look Huntly Library and Council Office.

There are two taniwha manaia forms, symbolic of the Tainui whakatauki, standing proudly in the entrance, with another new carving taking centre stage inside the library.

“The carvings represent a sense of community and symbolise a welcoming, engaging, learning safe space where everyone is welcome,” says Hohepa. “There is a purpose to every cut in the wood. They have been created to compliment the Poupou (wall panels) that were already in the library space.”

One of the carvings is located in the Sir Robert Mahuta room in the upstairs of the library and it serves as a fitting tribute to a great local man.

“The design pays homage to Sir Robert Mahuta, acknowledging his work to transform iwi, Hapu, Whanau through education,” says Hohepa.

The unveiling of the three carvings now completes the refurbishment of the Huntly Library, says Customer Delivery Manager Angela Parquist.

As well as the carvings that speak to our tangata whenua, Huntly Library and Council Office has a number of other historical features including a wall created from local coal and wooden panels that represent a coal mining village.  

“We encourage people to come along and check out the fantastic new carvings and while there, take a step back in time and immerse yourself in our new heritage exhibition.”

“A series of 10 posters exhibits snippets of the distant past – showcasing Huntly from 1865 to 1965, and encourages the reader to further research historical events and some of the personalities that have contributed to our town. It’s an opportunity for people to learn about the history of the area. The exhibition is a slice of times gone by, presented in an engaging and vibrant way.  The Huntly Coalfields Museum and Jean Beverland were instrumental in bringing this exhibition to life and we cannot thank them enough for sharing their knowledge and heritage collection with us.”

The exhibition will be on display until April when it will be replaced by an ANZAC Day exhibition honouring our fallen soldiers. Further exhibitions are currently being planned for.