Ruakere Hond (foreground) and Will Edwards take part in wÄ nanga on Parihaka’s Te Mahere Aranga Tuatoru.
The country’s landscape architects say Maori views on urban design have played a central role in two awards of excellence and special recognition for Taranaki projects.
The New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects’ Achievement Awards recognize two 30-year plans that couldn’t be more different in size: the Parihaka Community Plan and the New Plymouth Town Center Strategy.
Both were awarded in the Master Planning and Urban Design Strategy category.
The Parihaka plan also won special recognition in one of three supreme award categories – Te Karanga o te Tui for outstanding use of Te Aranga principles.
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The Te Aranga Principles provide industry with practical guidance for working with mana whenua on urban design, using the values of rangatiratanga, kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, wairuatanga, kotahitanga, whanaungatanga and mātauranga.
The award judges said Te Mahere Aranga Tuatoru, the Parihaka community’s 30-year redevelopment plan, had at its core “a co-developed engagement process”.
Beca’s lead landscape architect, Craig Pocock, has worked with the Parihaka Papakāinga Trust since 2019.
“There is a strong sense of the project’s landscape architect’s commitment to placing, immersing himself in the Parihaka community and becoming a trusted advisor,” the judges said.
Te Mahere Aranga Tuatoru aims to see the Papakāinga become self-sufficient with an improved standard of living.
The first stage is a drop-in center to enhance understanding of the heritage of Te Whiti and Tohu, and the principles of peace, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, sustainability and unity.
The government has already contributed $14 million from the provincial Growth Fund, saying the visitor center with supporting infrastructure will boost the local economy and create jobs.
The NZLIA judges said the Ngāmotu New Plymouth Town Center Strategy, approved by district councilors last year, offered a clear vision for the town center in 2050.
The strategy includes the opening of pedestrian corridors to the coast and up to 4,000 additional people living in and near the city centre.
Buildings would be removed to uncover Huatoki Creek and Taranaki Port traffic would divert away from the coastal road to the one-way system.
The judges said better landscape design “will reframe downtown, revitalizing the Huatoki as its beloved gateway did to the coast.”
Gaye Batty, NPDC’s Downtown Strategy Project Manager, said the award recognized the strength of the plan “to adapt and meet the challenges of changes in living, working and commuting in the inner city until 2050”.
Ngāti Te Whiti holds mana whenua in the central city and the judges said the partnership between the hapū and the New Plymouth District Council was essential to the success of the plan.
“Key to the creation of the strategy were the contributions of Linda McCulloch (delegate Ngāti te Whiti) and Sarah Mako (policy advisor Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa pou taiao).”
“There is a clear vision of what is to be achieved by 2050, which includes the ability for Ngāti te Whiti to affirm the mana and recognize the mauri of this place.”
Ngāti te Whiti President Julie Healey said the strategy was crucial “to restoring the voice of Ngāti te Whiti in the development of Ngāmotu and bringing the mana of our cultural heritage back to our historic whenua”.
When the plan was unveiled last year, McCulloch said it would give hapū a presence it had lacked for years.
“We can tell our cultural story of our relationship with the whenua and with our tipuna who lived here, and how our relationships developed over time with newcomers.”
McCulloch said Ngāti Te Whiti sites will be recognized, including Pukariki Pā, Waimanu Pā where Bunnings now stands, and other pā.
NPDC and Ngāti te Whiti are currently working on design principles and a new tree plan to green Devon Street.
-Local Democracy Reporting is public interest journalism funded by New Zealand On Air