Back to news & events


Ashleigh Ward to speak at IFLA World Congress

Posted 13 06 2024

in News

Image: uploads/2024_06/Ahsleigh.jpeg

IFLA 2024 | Invited Speaker |Ashleigh Ward Indigenous Design Principal
WSP New Zealand

IFLA is committed to creating a safe space for our Indigenous First Nations landscape architects, a space where knowledge can be shared and celebrated at the highest level, but also respected and protected.

This collaboration is crucial to ensure that the valuable knowledge and practices of indigenous communities are recognized, protected, and integrated into sustainable landscape design and planning. By working together, IFLA and UN agencies can help to empower indigenous communities and ensure that their voices are heard in global discussions on environmental and cultural preservation.

UNESCO UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) World Health Organization UN Environment Programme

Ashleigh is a descendant of the tribes Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Konohi and Te Aitanga a Hauiti, on the East Coast of the North Island, Aotearoa, New Zealand. She is an Indigenous Design Principal and a New Zealand registered Landscape Architect at WSP. Ashleigh holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (majoring in Landscape Architecture) from Victoria University in Wellington.

Ashleigh finds community and Te Ao Tūroa, (the natural world) at the heart of her work. Her portfolio of projects across the built and natural environment has allowed her to give agency and advocacy for Indigenous voices of Aotearoa, New Zealand – finding better solutions in creating longstanding, foundational and culturally aware authentic partnerships. For Ashleigh, as a strong wāhine Māori (Māori woman), advocating Indigenous agency and recognition is fundamental to well-being and strong, positive future aspirations. Ashleigh's goal of combining a culturally-centred design methodology with natural and contemporary urban landscapes is supported by her commitment to strong Indigenous engagement with people and place across her portfolio.

Bringing a lens grounded in Te Ao Māori (Māori world view), in wairua, spirit, in mauri, life, in whakapapa, genealogy and rehiā, enjoyment to an increasingly urbanized world, Ashleigh’s work embodies taiao-based work – revitalizing, regenerating, and protecting our natural environments for our future generations.