Would have opposed toki

LETTER

Re: Beautiful, meaningful stories to be told, June 23.

Amber, I am one of your ardent supporters and your explanation as to what a “toki” is, I am certain is of value to both myself and hundreds of readers. You stated that the toki were referred to and discussed at a public meeting. However, were the gathered assembly informed as to the cost of these items? If they were, then surely there would have been exclamations of “good grief” etc etc.

I have already had a number of people tell me they cannot believe the three toki cost $150,000.

I for one would have said something earlier, had I known, and I would have opposed their construction.

You stated that they were ancient drawing, carving and writing instruments.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that writing books can be a career path, however, toki were never used for writing as Maori had no written language.

I still feel that $150,000 for the toki is well above their value to us, our history, and our community. Believe me, I am not alone.

Mike Mulrooney

Re: Beautiful, meaningful stories to be told, June 23.

Amber, I am one of your ardent supporters and your explanation as to what a “toki” is, I am certain is of value to both myself and hundreds of readers. You stated that the toki were referred to and discussed at a public meeting. However, were the gathered assembly informed as to the cost of these items? If they were, then surely there would have been exclamations of “good grief” etc etc.

I have already had a number of people tell me they cannot believe the three toki cost $150,000.

I for one would have said something earlier, had I known, and I would have opposed their construction.

You stated that they were ancient drawing, carving and writing instruments.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that writing books can be a career path, however, toki were never used for writing as Maori had no written language.

I still feel that $150,000 for the toki is well above their value to us, our history, and our community. Believe me, I am not alone.

Mike Mulrooney

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Amber Dunn, Councillor - 4 months ago
Mike, the library project is complete, the toki are installed; and what a magnificent entrance we have to our new H.B. Williams Memorial Library. That you think the toki cost too much and aren't worth their value is a real shame.
Author and architect Jan Gehl has said 'cities need to reveal their secrets, their forgotten histories, to make us love them'.
The toki tell us about our history, our writing history; our pre-library history. Before there were libraries, and words, our tupuna communicated or 'wrote' in symbols, patterns and designs - in drawings, carvings (in art) - using toki. These designs tell rich, powerful stories, much like words (in books) tell stories. They, therefore, depict one of our first writing instruments; writing that took the form of symbols, designs and patterns on a range of media.
The toki 'reveal our secrets, our forgotten history'. When I was at the library with my 11-yr-old daughter last week, she asked what the toki were, and I shared this history lesson. Her response was a huge smile and a new sense of pride in her tupuna (ancestors) and home. That's how I have decided the 'value' of the toki: if they prompt people to inquire, and ask questions, and it leads to new knowledge (and pride), then the toki are invaluable icons at our library.

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