Master carver's work preserved

16:00, Jan 09 2013

Paea Kahuru died in 1904 aged 68 and her grave lies in the grounds of St John the Baptist Church in Waimate North.

The white wooden board marking the kuia's grave had been conserved over the three years and last week whanau, Historic Places Trust representatives and parishioners gathered to mark the occasion.

The headboard is the work of master carver Nutana Mapi, who lived in the area from 1846 until 1904. Maori art is incorporated in his carvings but Mapi's over-riding influence appears to be the church.

Most of his work is topped with slender spires fashioned with club shapes and diamonds.

Seven other examples of Mapi's carvings are believed to be in the area.

In 1975 the Kahuru headboard was preserved after a two-year campaign.

Late last year with the help of the trust, it was rededicated.