Meet The Guides III: Bevan Charles Climo, A True Kaitiaki

As a Natural Owner Guardian of Pounamu Jade, Bevan Charles Climo has a deep connection with his Maori ancestors and this has enabled him to create national treasure for New Zealand

Words by Bevan Charles Climo

Kia ora, my name is Bevan Charles Climo and I am a true ‘born and bred’ Westcoaster. I am of Maori and European blood like most Kiwis, but on my Maori side I am the great great great grandson of Tai Poutini’s last Maori Chief ‘Te Koeiti Turanga’. 

My tipuna (ancestors) and history are deeply ingrained into the hills and place where I was raised and still live. This has been the case for my family for many generations, hence I am a TRUE WESTCOASTER –  and proud of it!

My main passion is carving Pounamu Jade like my tipuna before me. They had the foresight to sign the ownership of Pounamu Jade out of the Treaty of Waitangi, so I am also a ‘True Kaitiaki’ (Natural Owner Guardian) of Pounamu Jade. My carving skills have been somewhat bred into me.

Being a True Westcoaster and holding Kaitiakitanga (Maori Guardianship) of our precious taonga (treasure) means that I can offer my knowledge and tell the many myths of the Maori. I can take guests for a walk up our own privately owned river to walk in the steps of my tipuna, or even design and carve a special taonga if they wish to commission their own piece.

One of the true joys of working with Pounamu Jade is that whatever I make, no matter how big or small, it is around forever. It is a tough stone, it won’t rot away. It is also a healing stone and the many different colours never fail to amaze people. 

A couple of commission pieces that I treasure the memory of carving were the Taonga (treasure) which is worn by the New Zealand Flag bearer at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and the Taonga that is worn by the New Zealand Flag bearer at the Commonwealth Games. The joy of working with such a hard stone is that it gives me a connection directly back to my tipuna (ancestors), them being the reason we own this mineral. So I create ‘art from the heart’ that like my tipuna’s creations, are going to be around forever.

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Joro Experiences New Zealand Meet The Guides III: Bevan Charles Climo, A True Kaitiaki
Words by

Bevan Charles Climo

Meet The Guides is a series of stories from our favourite guides whose local knowledge is unrivalled, and invaluable to us at Joro. In this series we are able to share with you their most treasured stories and how they work to protect and conserve the environments they love.

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