Te Maharatanga o Ngā Wai is a physical and virtual expression of the oft-quoted whakatauki ahakoa he iti, he pounamu. Whilst humble in its scale as an urban placemaking intervention in the Tāmaki Makaurau city centre, the multi-layered richness of physical and digital outcomes, the enhancement of mana and mauri, and the approach, processes and relationships that have developed through this project are where the pounamu really lies.
A deeply Māori kaupapa conceived and delivered in partnership as a pilot initiative between Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei (NWŌ) and Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland Council, Te Maharatanga o Ngā Wai stands as a full and rich expression of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei ahi-kā, kaitiaki and manaaki of place and of the people who will move through, visit and dwell within this space.
Through physical elements and digital media, members of the public are invited to remember and respect the stream that used to run through this site, and to question the wider plight of the streams and water systems that used to lend their mana and mauri to the city centre, now covered over, reclaimed, piped away and largely forgotten by the city.
A pilot project conceived to test a new way of working in partnership with Mana Whenua with focus on growing native human resource, Te Maharatanga o Ngā Wai has been proven to work, and to offer benefits for all involved, particularly for place. Ma Māori, mō te katoa – by Māori, for all.
Te Maharatanga o Ngā Wai - remembering our waters offers a type of urban acupuncture, with strategically located small interventions to invoke meaningful responses. This is a kaupapa conceived and delivered in partnership as a pilot initiative between Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei (NWŌ) and Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland Council and stands as a rich expression of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei ahi-kā, kaitiaki and manaaki of place and of the people who will move through, visit and live here.
The story of the place is told by local people through artful and functional design intervention. With an experimental ethos exploring innovation in construction methods, the project offers fresh ideas on structures and forms. The strength and enactment of partnership on this project are clearly evident. New connections and learnings have been established through the project, and there are the feelings that the small interventions could be catalysing responses out into the city. Ma Māori, mo te katoa – by Māori, for all.
Etienne Neho/Phil Wihongi
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei/Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau
Etienne Neho, Jyde Tamaariki, Kahurangi Eruera, Alan Titchener
Dane Tumahai, Wyatt Dooley, Barbara Holloway, Sarah Ross, Natalie Hansby
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei; QOROX; Hunua Park; Angus Muir Design; Dekker Landscapes