Forms of New Zealand sculpture mark multiple places in West Auckland and the Waitakere Ranges. These Maori designs, called pou whenua, are symbols of the relation between the land and the people.
Traditionally Maori people transmitted stories about their ancestors, origin and nature of the world in carvings. Object like wakas, the traditional canoes, and in posts that are used structurally in sacred places or in the marae, the meetinghouse carry parts of the tribe's history. Depending on location, the carving held the tribal story or personal story of an ancestor.
Wood is the material used for these carved objects. Sometimes paua shells serve to accentuate. Smaller items like family heirlooms are carved in pounamu, or bone.
The sculpture art or posts placed in West Auckland are out of wood and commemorate people or events related to the place they are positioned. At present twelve sites in the Auckland area display traditional Maori sculptures.