A forty-year wait came to an end as Matahi Brightwell put chisel to rock once again at the ‘world famous’ Maori Rock Carvings in Taupō.

Brightwell, 67, is a marae-taught carver and hasn’t stepped foot back onto the rocks at Mine Bay since he finished the carvings in 1980 – until Tuesday morning.

“I can’t believe I actually did it,” he said.

Brightwell will lead a small team to clean and re-sculpt the smaller carvings that surround the giant carving of Ngātoroirangi, in order to return them to their original state.

The carvings have not received any maintenance or restoration since 1980.

Brightwell said the start of the restoration will not be happening for another few weeks but he was able to start to refine one of the faces on the rocks as a bit of tester.

“I’m not as strong as I used to be, I will have to go a bit slower this time around. The rock is still very hard,” he said.

Source: Taupo Times

Image: Supplied to Taupo Times

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