Ora Garden

Ora Garden

Ngā Kaitiaki – The Guardians

Each guardian has been individually crafted and moulded by Lyonel Grant, then cast in bronze.

The four kaitiaki figures represent the four winds of Aoteaora/New Zealand (Nga hau e wha). These are the south wind Te Hau Tonga; the north wind Te Hau Raki; the east wind Te Hau Ra Whiti; and the west wind Te Hau-a-uru.

As the winds have a direct correlation to the seasons and therefore a direct impact on things that grow, their presence as kaitiaki is pivotal to the garden kaupapa.

Nga hau e wha is also a reference to the connection of peoples and their respective origins. The garden’s presence at Chelsea certainly drew all cultures from the four winds together as one.

Nga Kaitiaki are the guardians of Ora. Conservation is a key theme of the Ora Garden; for without sustainability there is no well-being.

Note: the green colour on the bronze is a chemical patina.

The stands as they are erected across the front of the garden in order are:

West, south, east and north (left to right)

Nga Kaitiaki - The Guardians

  • <p>Te Hauauru - The west wind.</p>
  • <p>Te Hau Tonga - The south wind.</p>
  • <p>Te Hau Rawhiti - The east wind.</p>
  • <p>Te Hau Raki - The north wind.</p>

Ora Project


May 2004

Ora Garden wins a prestigious gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show in London.

November 2004

Museum manager visits Ellerslie Flower Show to view the Ora garden

July 2005

Karen Williams contacts the Ora garden team & views the garden infrastructure in Katikati

September 2005

Ora garden designers visit museum and agree in principal to its reinstatement in an enclosed courtyard at the museum

October 2005

Taupo District Council agree to back the unbudgeted Ora Garden Project ($230,000 not including alterations to the museum) if community support was forthcoming

November 2005

Friends of Lake Taupo Museum & Art Gallery launch fundraising appeal to raise $200,000

April 2006

Contract documents signed between TDC & Ora design team

May 2006

Fundraising appeal target reached within six months!

July 2006

Museum alterations and courtyard construction underway.

September 2006

The six original members of the Ora garden team reconstruct the Ora garden within the courtyard and the garden is planted

October 2006

Ora Garden and Ora Courtyard completed

23 March 2007

Grand opening by MP Mark Burton (he had been involved with the garden project as Minister of Tourism)

February 2008

Ora Garden of Wellbeing judged a Garden of National Significance by the NZ Garden Trust – “although small, perfectly formed”

Paint Effects

The look-alike “silica terraces” were made in the Weta workshop in Wellington. They travelled to the site in large pieces which were re-assembled here.

Creator Alistair Hopwood carried out the painstaking job of assembling and re-gluing the terraces and rock face over a period of two weeks using experience learned in the film and television industry. Alistair who has worked on ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘Vertical Limit’ is an expert on resin choice and layering.

The project presented some special challenges as the team have worked to turn what was an exhibition garden into a permanent installation. There will always be a lot of water splashing about the terraces which also have a built-in water misting system as part of the special plumbing effects. Therefore a lot of effort has gone into making sure the terraces will be long-lasting.