Under Queen street lies a mighty Taniwha, Horotiu. For many years Horotiu protected his people on the banks of the Waihorotiu river and in the swamp now covered by Aotea square. As Auckland’s population grew from the influx the European immigrants so too did the cities infrastructure. Eventually, the stream was covered over and Horotiu was lost forever… until now.
The proliferation of higher and higher skyscrapers gave Horotiu the chance to escape. The ASB buildings deep concrete foundations scrapped Horotiu and offered him a way out of the ground. As he slowly seeped into the concrete he rose up over the city. Now he could see what had become of his sacred land. This angered Horotiu who revealed himself to Auckland. He broke out of the building’s façade and his presence was known once again.
Now Horotiu stands over Auckland as a Pōwhiri space to welcome new visitors to the city. The act of the Pōwhiri turns foe into friend and creates harmony between Horotiu and the people of Auckland.