Hone Tuwhara's crib will be part of a lasting legacy

00:03, Mar 20 2014
Rob Tuwhare
Builder Stan Scott with Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust members Butch Riechelmann, Noel Waite, Suze Keith, Matt Shirtcliffe and Rob Tuwhare at the poet's crib in Kaka Point.

Poet Hone Tuwhare's legacy in the south includes not just his poetry but his home and time in Kaka Point.

The Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust plans to develop the little crib which was his home for many years to allow writers to use it as a retreat, the first for a Maori writer.

At a public meeting at The Point Bar and Cafe on Sunday a small number of residents saw a video by Pearson and Associates Architects of what this would involve and how it would be funded and used.

Several members of the trust, including Hone's son Rob, were down from Mount Roskill, Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin to explain their vision and ask the community for feedback.

Rob Tuwhare remembered his father reading poetry in the warmth of The Point, and said he found it quite an emotional time being in the place which he loved.

Carpenter Stan Scott said they were working on the condition of the crib to stop it deteriorating.


A larger new building would also be required and good planning was the key to that, as well as sustaining the project into the future, chairman Noel Waite said.

That building would be the residence - "where the writer, and his or her family potentially, would stay during the residency. We intend this to be warm, welcoming, sustainable and a good fit to the unique location of Kaka Point."

He said that adjacent at the back of the section would be a workspace for writing or other creative practices, so there was some separation between living and working.

The crib would be maintained at the front of the section.

"We are looking at a diversity of uses for it, but it will essentially retain its characteristics as a crib."

There was a unique quality to a retreat in Kaka Point, as most were in cities and the area was stunning, he said.

Hone Tuwhare's national and international reputation meant there were a lot of funding options and interest in the project.

Cultural tourism was expanding and had benefits to the community in allowing tourists to engage more with the community and stay longer in an area.

The group recognised that Kaka Point would be a different experience for many writers, who might find it isolated and issues of drainage, sewage, warmth and transport would need to be addressed.

"The simplicity of the experience is part of that - learning how to light fires, intermittent cell-phone coverage. It needs to be sustainable in all ways while keeping the essence of Hone," secretary Suze Keith said.

Ideas for developing educational resources and attracting school groups, ways of making the writer residents free from financial worries, the management of the project, and fitting into modern conservation aspects were all being considered.

The residents at the meeting were keen to share their stories of Hone, and these might form part of fund-raising ventures. Any stories could be sent to the website honetuwhare.org.nz.


The Southland Times