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Gift of Art . . . Children, families and friends of Kia Ngawari Te Kohunga Reo were honored to welcome the Mataura Kauri carving. PHOTO: VALU MAKA.

A new carving now welcomes people at the foyer of the Kia Ngawari Te Kohanga Reo.

Children, families and friends from the kohanga gathered to unveil the carving.

Carver Kevin Morgan said it was an emotional and inspiring ceremony.

“Seeing the carving here [at the kohanga] I know it has found it’s resting place.”

Mr Morgan said the carving took two to three months to carve.

It stood in the garden of their property for three years, he said.

“We’ve sold our property, so I had to see what we could do with it.”

The story behind the carving was of significance to his own personal story.

“So the main part of the carving is the overarching koru, which represents the father figure, and the two offshoots are my children.”

The energy from the ground nurtures the native plants, he said.

“So this is the nurturing I have shared with my children as they have grown up.”

The fruits which appeared above the native fern represented the by-product of the love and nurture they received, he said.

“The fruits come later for the children as they grow and take their place in the community.”

Mr Morgan knew the kohanga was the perfect place for his art piece as he saw a link between the carving’s background story and the kohanga’s values.

“They [the kohanga] take in the young children and nurture them and they grow and the fruits will grow once the children take their place in the community.”

He hoped the art piece would be a source of inspiration in the workplace, he said.

Mr Morgan acknowledged the Gore Woodworkers Club for their support.

Kaiako Ami Rarere said the school was honoured to receive the gift.

“It is such a special gift which acknowledges the development of our children and the school’s tikanga, our values and principles.”