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Waharoa - Michael Matchitt




Michael Matchitt was commissioned by the 2020 Year 13 leavers to produce a Waharoa which encapsulates their values as a cohort.

This Waharoa symbolises:

  • Persistence: Continuing through the face of adversity
  • Knowledge: Something that each student gains through a personal journey at St Paul’s
  • Unity and community: A large part of Te Reo Maaori and St Paul’s
  • Compassion: As a Year 13 group, compassion was the main focus of a difficult year
  • Resilience: Represents us as a school, getting back up when knocked down

This waharoa follows the Maori creation story, and represents the importance of being willing to enter a space of not knowing when it comes to learning and personal growth. We are all learners, and we are all learning in a life-long sense. 

Throughout our respective lives, learning will see us all entering in-and-out of the space that is unknown, and maybe a little uncomfortable, and spaces are known and familiar.  

The Bidois whanau and NZ Timber were incredibly generous in donating the hardwood slab, which Matchitt has masterfully carved the Waharoa from, and this piece now acts as the gateway to the Lander Centre.

Natural “flaws” in the wood are a key element behind this piece; this work references the notion that we are all unique and it is our flaws that define our individuality. 

Michael Matchitt is a tohunga whakairo (master carver). Proudly part of a legacy of whakairo, Michael descends from Te Whānau ā Te Ēhutu and Te Whānau ā Apanui – iwi recognised for their contributions not only to whakairo but also to teaching and the arts.

Location: Quad Entrance (Hamilton Campus)

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