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Old poles now part of Hawke's Bay compass

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/06/2017

Twelve ornately carved posts that began life as street power poles have been added to a celestial compass in Hawke's Bay.

The 50-metre-wide compass, Atea a Rangi at the Waitangi Regional Park, sits on a mound overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

It will eventually contain 32 pou, or carved posts, to mark the rising and setting points of the sun, moon and stars.

The first four pou were revealed when the park was officially opened in March and the second group was unveiled during the winter solstice this week.

The remaining 16 will be installed during the September equinox and the summer solstice in December.

Atea a Rangi Educational Trust trustee Phillip Smith says it's important for people to get back in tune with the celestial bodies.

"This time of year - Te Takanga a te Ra, the winter solstice - is the reason why the star cluster of Matariki was so important to our ancestors as the Maori new year," he said.

"The Atea a Rangi aims to tell the story about the knowledge and understanding our ancestors had about the celestial bodies and how this is still relevant in many facets of life today."

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