Whakaaro Whakairo is an initiative run by Te Korowai Manaaki Charitable Trust. The trust was established to promote and enhance the cultural, economic, health and environmental wellbeing of its community. Based in Ōtaki and having a Ngāti Raukawa focus it operates for the general community.
The main activity of the trust is the Whakaaro Whakairo Sculptural Symposium which is an annual festival that is held in Ōtaki. It is mainly set up for stone carvers but attracts other practitioners such as wood carvers and weavers. It generally runs at the same time as two international festivals, that are held in Ōtaki; the Māoriland International Film Festival and the Ōtaki Kite Festival. This brings to our community an international and local audience including indigenous film makers and celebrities. The kite festival also attracts international kite-makers and flyers.
The symposium attracts like-minded artists sharing ideas and inspiration in a creative environment.
Ōtaki is a centre of Māori cultural renaissance, academic achievement and an area of historical and cultural significance. Located here are the historical churches of Rangiatea and the Pukekaraka Catholic Mission. Stunning natural locations including the Tararua Ranges, Ōtaki River, Ōtaki Beach and Kāpiti Island.