As a token of appreciation, one of New Zealand’s famous carver known as their Tohunga Whakairo (Master Carver) will carve a four metre ‘tauihu’.
Tauihu is described by Mr Rickard as the bow of a canoe which is located at the front of it.
Mr Rickard said his boys and him will carve the tauihu from a 4000 year old tree.
“We will be doing it on behalf of the delegates,” he said.
He explained that as all pacific island nations including the Solomon Islands are faced with one similar problem and that is the effects of climate change on low lying islands around the pacific; the ‘tauihu’ depicts the way forward for the Solomon Islands in future.
“It is like looking forward to the future as 25 years down the line, pacific island nations risk losing our islands,” he said.
Mr Rickard is also a ‘Tumu Whakarae’ (Head of School).
He was in the first intake of students at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in 1967.
He is currently the head of school at Te Wānanga Whakairo Rakau and is leading the carving process for Te Kākano.
Mr Rickard is a prolific carver who has represented Te Puia and New Zealand at a number of international symposia and conferences.
He is also looking forward to showcasing some of his talented work during the festival.
The New Zealand delegation arrived on an air force plane yesterday afternoon.
They make up the 110 out of the first three pacific island delegations that arrived in Honiara yesterday.
The other two countries were Nauru and Niue.
By Douglas Marau
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