In 2017, Ātea a Rangi was constructed as one of several elements in the Waitangi Estuary enhancement at Waitangi Regional Park. Ātea a Rangi was the idea of Te Matau-a-Māui Voyaging Trust who subsequently partnered with HBRC to deliver the project.
Ātea a Rangi Educational Trust was then established to administer and maintain Ātea a Rangi under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Regional Council, who maintains the space on an ongoing basis for the community to enjoy.
It is a training tool used by celestial navigators who sailed traditionally throughout the Pacific. The rising and setting points of the celestial bodies are memorised by using the carved Pou (Posts) and the Horizon.
It shows a resource used by the ancestors of the Māori to navigate sailing waka (large double hulled canoe) throughout the Pacific Islands. This area is also rich in local Maori and European history, and marks the first place in Hawke’s Bay where Europeans and Māori lived together as a community. For many years this land was neglected and used as an illegal rubbish dumping site.
For tours of the site, please contact the Ātea a Rangi Educational Trust, who were responsible for the design, carving and completion of the star compass. Proceeds go to maintenance of the site and local school and community programmes - www.atea.nz for more information. It is appropriate that Ātea a Rangi Educational Trust is acknowledged and/or consulted with by tourism operators.