The waharoa will be displayed on large digital screens and were created by renowned Māori artists David Hakaraia, of Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Paoa, and Rawiri Barriball, of Te Rarawa, Ngati Raukawa and Te Atiawa.
The entryways will be located at the two waterfront entrances to Ahi Kā, which is taking place 5pm-8.30pm on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 July on Wellington Waterfront. The celebrations will feature live performances, storytelling, film screenings, and fire and light installations.
Rawiri says the designs on the waharoa were inspired by the surrounding features seen in and around the Wellington harbour.
“I’m hoping that visitors to Wellington can have a better understanding of the area through the visual concepts that David and I have created.”
One of the waharoa, which will be located on Te Papa promenade, depicts the two taniwha, Ngake and Whātaitai, who inhabited Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington harbour.
“The surrounding whenua and moana were shaped by these two taniwha. When Whātaitai died his soul left him in the form of a bird, Te Keo,” David says.
This is reflected in the design, along with stingrays that still reside in Wellington harbour, and Tangaroa, who is the great Atua of the sea and creatures that live within it.