The Arataki Visitor Centre is on Scenic Drive between Titirangi and Waiatarua. It is an iconic building, designed by architect Harry Turbott, and opened in the 1990s.
The most striking aspect of the building is the central pou, representing the ancestors of the iwi of the Waitakere Ranges, Te Kawerau a Maki. This is the second pou, and it was unveiled in 2011.
These are the ancestors represented on the pou (from the top):
- Tiriwa, a great ancestor of Te Kawerau, after whom the Ranges were named, Te Wao Nui o Tiriwa, the “great forest of Tiriwa”
- Hape or Rakataura, the senior tohunga on the Tainui canoe
- Hoturoa, captain of the Tainui canoe
- Maki, the father of Te Kawerau a Maki, also known as Tawhiakiterangi
- Te Hawiti, great grandson of Maki, controlled the lands from Muriwai to the Manukau