Friday, July 24, 2009

Bay of Plenty Building Designs

Opotiki. May 2009. Ajr
One of the things I loved best about travelling from Rotorua to Opotiki and on, right around East Cape to Gisborne, was the proliferation of Maori pattern and design that you rarely see now anywhere else in country - apart from on marae of course. It's everywhere and Opotiki was especially colourful. Take these traditional patterns that decorate the Whakatohea Health Centre for instance - a small, otherwise insignificant little 1920s stucco building made handsome and distinctive in the town's main street. Te Whakatohea is the main iwi of the Bay of Plenty region and the lands of the six hapu (sub-tribes) stretch from Ohiwa Harbour in the west to Opape in the east and inland to Matawai. I'd love to make a return trip here to explore some of those much-less-travelled inland areas - one day soon I hope.

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