The Pou Pou having been erected to mark the marine reserves in Fiordland are seen as a great achievement for the Fiordland Marine Guardians, but especially so for the iwi Ngai Tahu, Katimamoe, Waitaha!
To have these images placed into Fiordland is to reconnect that association of the Manawhenua/Kaitiaki, the Iwi, with that place.
The Poupou are symbols of our ancestral connections with Fiordland, the deities, the explorers, the Whanau, Whanui who have traveled these pathways before us, are able to be recognized, talked about and therefore brought back to the minds of those who take the time to enquire and those who should gaze upon these images.
The poupou erected in Charles Sound recognise one of our great deities Kahukura. In this instance when we think about this particular pou/image it brings to mind that great korero about Tuterakiwhanoa's great feats of carving out the land to create the fiords to make the place suitable for humans.
The story of Kahukura in this instance is how Tuterakiwhanoa called for assistance to carry out the challenge before him, and Kahukura the Goddess of travelers stepped forth to assist with the job in hand in Charles Sound.
The second poupou in Charles depicts one known as Heheue. This name reminds us that after Tuterakiwhanoa finished his great feats that man and others came to explore this great place. Heheue was one of Maui’s sailing masters who accompanied Maui as he explored Aotearoa.
And so the stories go, these were but an abbreviation of the bigger story, but as we apply the names to the rest of the poupou in the other sounds, it is the intention that people will come to know the stories associated to those places. The poupou will hopefully bring to light those stories of a time long ago, of the so called mythology of those who make up the whakapapa/genealogy of the first people's of this land (THE MAORI)
These Pou pou are placed looking over these marine reserves as Kaitiaki/guardians.
They are watching over these places to observe the activities of those who enter and symbolize the importance of these marine reserves.
Stewart Bull, Fiordland Marine Guardian/Kaitiaki