19 August 2008
The hundreds of thousands of people who visit Hamilton Gardens each year will soon see a unique new sight in the Paradise Gardens collection. Thanks to a grant of $433,000 from the Lottery Significant Project Fund, Hamilton City Council will be able to complete construction of Te Parapara Garden, New Zealand's first public traditional Māori garden.
Local Māori leaders have been involved throughout the garden's planning and design process. The practices and symbols of local hāpu and the knowledge and guidance of local kaumatua have helped to determine shape of the new garden.
Hamilton Gardens director Peter Sergel says Te Parapara will have a valuable role to play in helping to conserve and tell the stories of local hāpu and enable the wider community to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and sophistication of Māori horticulture.
"There are no publically accessible traditional Māori gardens anywhere in New Zealand and Te Parapara is set become the truly unique taonga and feature of Hamilton Gardens.
"Already the garden is sparking interest with a public open day on 4 September. The day, which is open to schools and all members of the general public, will allow people to see first hand Māori artisans at work on Te Parapara's carvings.
Sergel says, "the grant will fund the completion of the Te Parapara Garden particularly the pataka, or storehouse, that will be located in the centre of the garden. The pataka itself will take approximately eighteen months to carve and construct."
The Lottery Significant Project Fund provides opportunities for the development of projects that are of community, regional or national benefit. The Fund is for projects costing at least $1 million, that have received funding from other sources, but which are still unable to raise sufficient money to complete the project.
Hamilton City Council is a major funder of the project along with a number of key sponsors.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Name: Dr Peter Sergel
Designation: Hamilton Gardens Director
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6699
Name: Christine Watson
Designation: Communication Executive
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6509
Mobile: 021 791 264
Fax (Direct): 07 838 6761