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Punatoto: the life force


The carving in the entrance foyer of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is named ‘Punatoto: The Life Force’. Punatoto was an ancestor of Te Atiawa who lived in Whanganui-A-Tara, the Maori name for Wellington harbour. Pita Rua Lagan, a Tuhoe carver from Matahi in the Urewera, currently living in Picton, was commissioned by the Bank to carve Punatoto as part of New Zealand’s commemoration of 150 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.