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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Oct. 29) – Cook Islander Faimou Robati is carving a new Pacific pou (post), to represent the migration of Pacific islands people to Aotearoa in Northland, New Zealand.

He started work this week.

Robati, and his contemporary details on a 10-meter tall Totara (pine) log, will symbolize the collaboration between Tangata Whenua (more directly Ngapuhi), and their important links with Tangata Pasifika. His theme depicts the close links between the cultures of Tai Tokerau and the arrival of ocean-voyaging canoes from Takitumu, Rarotonga.

The pou is being carved in association with another carver, Kerry Strongman, resident in Te Hana.

Creative New Zealand has granted funding for the new library pou in their current round of arts funding just announced in Wellington, New Zealand last Friday.

The artwork has come about through a request from the Whangarei Arts Museum and Whangarei Library to the Northland Pacific Islands Trust, whose role it was to locate an artist worthy of the honor to undertake this important work.

Executive officer for the trust, Cook Islander Carinna Langsford, had no hesitation in commissioning Robati, whose emerging artistry and work within Cook Islands conservation of natural resources, has impressed Carinna over recent years.

November 4, 2005

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