Two stunningly sculpted Pou (carvings) welcome visitors at the entrance to Takapuwahia village. The pou, lit at night depict the prow and stern of a waka cradling Ngati Toa ancestor, Toa Rangatira. Bridging past and present, these pou, carved by local craftsman Tana Salzmann, represent Ngati Toa's journey from the Waikato to Porirua in the 1820s. By the 1850s the Takapuwahia pa (Maori village) was effectively a working farm with its own crops, vegetables, fruit and flour mill, with the iwi (tribe) passing down the land from generation to generation. From the late 1960s, the government used the Public Works Act to force purchase of land here for state housing, although as the state has gradually sold off properties many Ngati Toa have bought them back. Today this extremely close community, which pivots around the marae and the Mormon church, also attracts newcomers keen on Takapuwahia's proximity to the harbour, the bush, Porirua City Centre and the motorway.