The development of Kōmata o Te Rangi by Bronson Baker, an Auckland born carver of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Nga Puhi and Te Arawa descent, began in July 2021. Bronson was inspired by the passion that the IPWEA NZ team had for the Asset Management Excellence Award entries and the team’s commitment to the improvements that projects like these can make to our day to day lives. Kōmata o Te Rangi, a taurapa is IPWEA NZ’s Supreme Award, and is a symbol of the elite, a representation of a pinnacle, or the zenith.
He mea tīmata te whakairo nei a Te Kōmata o Te Rangi e Bronson Baker i te Hūrae 2021. He kaiwhakairo a Bronson nō roto mai o Ngā Puhi me Te Arawa. Ka whakaohoohotia a Bronson e te kaingākautanga o te kapa IPWEA o Aotearoa ki ngā kuhunga mō ngā-Tuku Taonga Whakahaere Rawa Kairangi me te tōngakingakitanga o te kapa nei ki ngā whakapaipaitanga ake i ngā hinonga nei e whai wāhi ai ki o tātou oranga i ia rā. Ko Kōmata o Te Rangi te taonga Nui Whakahirahira o IPWEA Aotearoa, ā, he tohu o te hunga kairangi, he whakaahuahanga o te poutūmārōtanga anō hoki.
Kōmata o Te Rangi is Bronson’s first taurapa, the carving of which requires great skill, ritual and technical expertise. A taurapa is the stern of a highly prized waka tauā (war canoe) that would take the highly regarded and strongest warriors into battle. The taurapa has spiritual significance when carrying warriors to war, recognising the connection between te ira atua (the sacred realm) and te ira tangata (the human realm). The taurapa, as well as the tauihu (the prow), are the most highly prized parts of the waka.
Ko Kōmata o Te Rangi te taurapa tuatahi nā Bronson i whakairo, ā, me whai pūkenga rawa, me ringarehe tonu te kaiwhakairo, ka mutu, me mōhio hoki ki ngā tikanga whakairo. Ko te taurapa tērā te wāhi kei te kei o te waka tauā, māna e kawe ake ngā tino toa ki te pakanga. He tohu wairua anō tō te taurapa ina kawe atu nei ngā toa ki te pakanga. Ko tāna he tūhono i te ira atua ki te ira tangata. Ko te taurapa me te tauihu o te waka ngā wāhi tino tapu nei o te waka.
The design of Kōmata o Te Rangi is inspired by several conversations and kōrero with friends and IPWEA NZ. The taurapa features eight manaia, a mythological guardian creature. Each manaia is the guardian for one of the IPWEA NZ Asset Management Excellence Award categories and will keep watch over the projects entered for the years to come.
Ko te whakaahua o Kōmata o Te Rangi i whakaohooho nei i ngā matapakina me ngā kōrero ki ngā hoa, ki a Aotearoa IPWEA anō hoki. E waru ngā manaia kei te taurapa nei, he kaitiaki ēnei. E waru katoa ngā wāhanga o ngā Tuku Taonga Whakahaere Rawa Kairangi, ā, koia tā ngā manaia mahi nei, he tiaki i ngā hinonga ka kuhu ai hei ngā tau te haere ake nei.
Eight takarangi, or scrolls, also feature in Kōmata o Te Rangi. Each takarangi represents an award recipient. At the base of Kōmata o Te Rangi, we can see a figure representing a rangatira, or chief. The chief is a highly esteemed leader and embodies IPWEA NZ and everyone within the organisation, including staff, members and volunteers. The rangatira traditionally watches over everyone in battle, and in the years to come, will watch over everyone associated with IPWEA NZ.
E waru ngā takarangi kua whakairo anō hoki ki runga o Kōmata o Te Rangi. Ko ia takarangi e whakamana ana i ngā kairiro taonga. Kei te take o Kōmata o Te Rangi ka kitea nei he tohu e tohua ana i te rangatira. Ko te rangatira whai mana i tōna iwi, ā, e whakatinana ana i tō Aotearoa IPWEA me te hunga katoa kei tēnei rōpū, tae ake ki ngā kaimahi, ngā mema me ngā tūao. Tā te rangatira he ārahi i tōna iwi ki te pakanga, ā, mō ngā tau te haere ake nei, ko tāna he tūtei i te hunga katoa o roto mai i IPWEA Aotearoa.
It is an honour to present Kōmata o Te Rangi as a symbol of public asset management excellence, displayed here today amongst our finalist projects. This award will be kept and treasured by our Supreme Award Winner until it is passed on to each subsequent winner, starting a tradition that will be continued for many years to come.
He hōnore te tuku i a Kōmata o Te Rangi hei tohu i te kairangitanga whakahaere rawa e whakaaturia ana i konei i tēnei rā nei i waenga i ngā hinonga toa whakamutunga. Ka pupuru, ka manaakitia ai e te Tino Toa mō ā tōna wā ka tuku ki te toa te haere ake nei, ā, ka tīmatahia ai tēnei hei tikanga e haere tonu ai mō ngā tau hia nei te haere ake nei.
About Bronson Baker – artist
Bronson’s journey as a carver began when, as a child, he was interested in what he describes as ‘making and breaking anything’. Brought up with hunting, fishing and gathering beside his whānau, Bronson would make his own fishing lines and spears to use as his tools.
Ka tīmata mai a Bronson hei kaiwhakairo i a ia e tamariki ana, hei tāna i pai ai me tāna whakamārama mai ‘te waihangahangahanga, te mahi pakarukaru i ngā mea katoa.’ Ka whakatipu ia ki te whaiwhai tia, te whakangau pōaka, te hī ika me te kohikohi kai me tōna whānau. Nā Bronson anō āna ake aho me āna huata i waihanga hei mahi māna.
At the age of 30, he found himself reconnecting to his Māori heritage. At Hoani Waititi Marae, Bronson begun here learning Te Reo Māori, however in te reo classes often found himself drawing in his notebook. Hohepa Renata, a friend and whakairo kaiako,(carving teacher and mentor) at the marae introduced him to carving to channel his strengths, and Bronson began to master his craft in something which he had previously only seen and admired as a child on his marae during Tangihanga.
Nōna ka 30 te pakeke, ka ruku, ka tūhonotia ai e ia ki tōna ao Māori. Ki Te Marae o Hoani Waititi ka tīmata tāna ako i te reo Māori otiia, nōna tonu kei roto i te akomanga he tā pikitia te mahi i roto i tāna pukapuka noti. Nā tōna hoa a Hōhepa Renata, he kaiako whakairo ki te marae, i akiaki, i tohutohu ka aronui a ia me tōna ngākaunui kia arohia e ia ki tēnei kaha ōna. I konei mātanga haere ake nei a Bronson ki roto i āna mahi whakairo, he mea kite kau e ia nōna e tamariki ana ki tōna marae i te wā o ngā tangihanga.
Hoani Waititi Marae shaped Bronson’s life in more ways than one. As a solo father, the marae welcomed his children, and in 2008, introduced him to his fiancé. Irene is one of Bronson’s role models, along with his mother and his grandmother who raised him. Their whānau includes 7 children, who are Bronson’s life, offering him support and helping him to find his voice as an artist.
Nā Te Marae o Hoani Waititi ia i panoni, i whakaahuahia ai. Hei matua takakau, nā te marae a ia me āna tamariki i poipoi, ā, nō te tau 2008 ka tūtakihia ki tāna makau. Ko Irene tētahi o ōna kaiārahi, waihoki ki tōna kōkā me tōna kuia nā rāua nei ia i whakatipu. Tokowhitu ā rāua tamariki arā, āna mapihi maurea, tōna tira tautoko nui atu e tautokohia ana a ia kia. whai a ia i tōna reo hei kaitoi.
Bronson is proud to be committing to the mahi of his predecessors. Inspired by the works that he has admired in Aotearoa’s museums, he hopes that his carving journey will take some of his work to a museum, for his children, and grandchildren to be proud of in years to come. He is a strong believer in ‘When you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything’.
He whakahīhī, he tōngakingaki tō Bronson ki ngā mahi o te hunga nō mua atu i a ia. Ka whakaaweawetia a ia e ngā toi kei roto i ngā whare pupuru taonga o Aotearoa, ā, e tūmanako ana a ia ko ētahi āna mahi whakairo ka pupurihia ki tētahi o ngā whare pupuru taonga mā āna tamariki hei whakahīhī mā rātou mō ngā tau kei tua. Tino whakapono ana a ia ‘Mā te ūpoko pakaru atu e pahawa ai o wawata’.