Mangatawa by Bryce Brown
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Mangatawa represents the Maori tale of three whales. The area of Mangatawa, sacred to Nga Potiki, was taken in 1955 for use by New Zealand Railways Department under the Public Works Act 1928 and used for housing their employees until the mid 1980s. The area was quarried for ballast to build roads and wharves in the Tauranga area from the 1950s up to the1980s. Bones from those buried over past centuries were removed as often as possible during this time, but many remain in the local wharf and roads today. The Pohutukawa tree shown in the painting, once stood at the burial site of the head of Nga Potiki Ariki (Chief) Tamapahore. This was at the northern most point, which was the head of the whale (Mangatawa). This tree was removed along with large quantities of rock, changing the land’s form forever.