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Te Tangi a Te Manu: Aotearoa New Zealand Landscape Assessment Guidelines

Boffa Miskell Isthmus

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  • NZILA Category Joint Winner Research and Communication — 2022
Various spreads showing content structure.
Various spreads showing content structure.

Te Tangi a te Manu are guidelines for landscape assessment in Aotearoa New Zealand. They have been prepared in response to a long-recognised need in statutory planning contexts, an area where the profession has great opportunity for influence. The Guidelines are the outcome of a deliberate process sustained over four years. The research and engagement undertaken in their preparation are themselves an outstanding achievement, evidenced by unanimous adoption of the Guidelines at the Institute’s 2021 AGM.

The Guidelines explain potentially complex methodologies clearly. They provide both a guide for inexperienced practitioners, and a reference benchmark of concepts and principles for experienced practitioners in the Environment Court. They promote better assessment practice, in turn enhancing the management of our landscapes. Te Tangi a te Manu captures the profession’s collective best practice in Aotearoa. The Guidelines promote both Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Pākehā perspectives, connections between perspectives, and the flexibility for practice to continue evolving. They have been described as a “coming of age” in that they confidently reflect the evolving depth and breadth of landscape practice in this country.

It is fitting that they are published in the Institute’s 50th anniversary year. The Guideline’s content and graphic production are outstanding in an international context. It is original and innovative work that contributes to professional practice beyond these shores. It represents a value that could only be achieved by the voluntary will and generosity of many people which is, perhaps, its greatest attribute of all.


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Judges’ Citation:
Te Tangi a te Manu: Aotearoa New Zealand Landscape Assessment Guidelines represents a labour of love for its authors, something which is very clear in the comprehensive approach and engaging production. 

Well-researched and thoroughly documented, the book takes the profession along on the journey of updating our earlier guidelines which were no longer fit for purpose and lacking in rigour. Te Tangi a te Manu responds to a challenging remit from the courts that had become frustrated by the lack of common methodology and vast differences in opinions reached by practitioners. The result of this long and detailed collaboration provides much more than was expected, laying down a challenge to the profession to move forward with purpose and deliver a distinctive Aotearoa New Zealand approach to landscape assessment.

Te Tangi a te Manu is likely to be of value outside Aotearoa bringing a wealth of understanding of how landscape architects should be assessing landscapes in the future. 


Tuia Pito Ora New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects

Te Tangi a te Manu involves collaboration by many individuals across different companies. 

Te Tangi a Te Manu, Collaborators (internal):
Gavin Lister, Rachel de Lambert, Alan Titchener as the principal authors.

Primary collaborator:
Te Tau a Nuku as an instrument of Ngā Aho (Te Tau a Nuku wish their contribution to be recognised as collective rather than identifying the contribution of individuals).

Initiator of original landscape assessment methodology project:
Shannon Bray

Peer Review Group:
Di Lucas, Stephen Brown, Bridget Gilbert, Alan Titchener

Specialist Reviewers:
Dr Simon Swaffield, Dave Serjeant

Shona McCahon

Graphics: An Isthmus and Boffa Miskell Team comprising Nick Kapica, Sam Fraser, Sophie Fisher, Vanessa le Grand Jacob

Contributors at workshops and written submissions:
Some 175 people who are named in Te Tangi a te Manu acknowledgements

Workshop facilitators:
Brad Coombs, Julia Wick


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