The catchphrase 'Looking after the place we love' is common-place around our district and its communities. Taupō Museum is not just doing this, but extending to include looking after our taonga, in some restorative work of Waka Tiwai, housed in the Tūwharetoa Room.
The waka was originally found at Opepe in the 1950's and was outside exposed to the elements for over 70 years next to Taupō Police Station. It was relocated to Taupō Museum in 2006 and has become very fragile due its age. It is at high risk of further deterioration due to the drying out process and the unstable environmental conditions.
Conservator Rose Evans and Tautahanga Rameka have been called upon to begin a project to preserve the waka, the first stage of which involves surface removal of lichen and bacterial growth.
This is a slow and arduous process, with small brushes and fine wood tools used to carefully extract it. This involves gently removing this, without damaging or chipping the waka.
The next steps in the conservation will be a matter for iwi to discuss as to what form the waka will eventually take.
December 17 2018