EPISODE SUMMARY: In part two of our story on Tāmaki Makaurau cultural landscapes, we look at how mana whenua are working with Māori designers to re-shape the City to better reflect their unique identity and culture, and to create a distinctive sense of place that benefits us all.
GUESTS: Lucy Tukua, Bernadette Aperahama
Jade Kake: The rural to urban migration that began after World War 2 saw a generation of Māori flock to the cities. But mana whenua in Tāmaki Makaurau never moved to the City - the metropolis that is Auckland has grown up around them, historically without their participation and often resulting in the destruction of settlements and important sites.
In recent years, mana whenua participation in development has increased exponentially. Tools like Te Aranga have supported mana whenua to work collaboratively as part of project teams to creatively reinterpret their own narratives and histories, and to apply these to the construction of new buildings and landscapes.
Lucy Tukua: Tēnā tatou katoa, i tū ana, maua i runga i te maunga a Maungarei, te tihi maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau. E whariki nei, ngā maunga e maha, ngā maunga i rongonui o Tāmaki, i te taha nei, ko te Wai-o-Taiki, e rere atu ra ki te Waitematā. Āe, me mihi hoki ki ngā tangata ngā tūpuna, ngā wāhi tapu, kei waenganui. He uri o hau o Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Whanaunga. I noho ana au e Papakura. Ko Lucy Tukua ahau.
JK: So we're standing here on top of Maungarei, looking out over the harbour and over the city, and it's a really beautiful clear, sunny day. So we've been very blessed with the weather. Could you tell me a bit about this place where we're standing, and what it means to you, and to your iwi of Ngāti Paoa?
LT: So Ngāti Paoa were at one point in time the dominant mana whenua iwi here in this particular area. The Pā site that they occupied is known as Mokoia Pā, which sits at the headland at the mouth of Te Kai a Hiku, the Panmure Lagoon. There were a number of Ngāti Paoa that resided here along the foreshore of the Wai-o-Taiki, and it was very well known for it's māra, for it's gardens. And Ngāti Paoa - in terms of their kaitiaki - was the taniwha Moko-ika-hiku-waru. So hence where Panmure Lagoon gets its name from - Te Kai a Hiku, shorted to Hiku, Moko-ika-hiku-waru. And, it's said that this kaitiaki used to corral fish into the Panmure Lagoon, and that's why it's called Te Kai a Hiku, the food bowl of Hiku.
As we know, the Tāmaki River, Te Wai o Taiki, was one of the important highways, State Highway 1 for our waka, back in the day, and also with the Tainui waka coming through this area, accessing the Manukau Harbour over the Otahuhu portage. It was a place where many lived, and interacted with other tribes. But also acknowledging that, Ngāti Paoa weren't the only occupiers of this area, and just acknowledge the other mana whenua in this area as well. I think in this day in age, a lot of people are really interested about the purakau and the cultural narratives of Māori, of mana whenua, and in particular, like the names of places and mountains and rivers. The harbour. You know, the beautiful story about Te Kai a Hiku. That was his food bowl.
Maungarei, about the sisters Reitū and Reipae. Like most good narratives, everybody's got their own story, but the story that I know is, so Reitū and Reipae, beautiful Waikato wāhine that were keen on a chief from up in the north. And so, they were on a mission to partner with this chief, and they summoned their kaitiaki, which was a manu. So this particular maunga is named after that event of them journeying up into the north, and coming here to Maungarei. So if we take that particular narrative, and the work that was done on the Auckland Transport project, the Panmure Station roofline represents the manu or the kaitiaki of those two wāhine.
JK: Tēnā koutou katoa
Nau mai haere mai ki te Indigenous Urbanism, Aotearoa Edition, Episode 6.
I’m your host Jade Kake and this is Indigenous Urbanism, stories about the spaces we inhabit, and the community drivers and practitioners who are shaping those environments and decolonising through design.
In part two of our story on Tāmaki Makaurau cultural landscapes, we look at how mana whenua are shaping the city to better reflect the culture and history of place, and to promote a more responsible and regenerative ongoing relationship with our environment.
We spoke with Lucy Tukua, nō Ngāti Paoa raua ko Ngāti Whanaunga. Lucy has been a driving force behind the application of the principles from a mana whenua perspective.
We met with Lucy at Panmure Station, which is in shadow of Maungarei and is part of the first stage of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative.
LT: In my capacity as the Environment Manager for Ngāti Paoa I was involved in the Panmure Station quite closely, and the mana whenua that were involved on the project basically supported Ngāti Paoa being the lead on this particular project. And because of our close association to this area, and the pā site being a Km up the road, down to the mouth of the lagoon, we were able to work closely alongside Auckland Transport.
JK: Now we're standing here on the bus platform and then there's the train platform over there, and I can see what looks like native plantings. Could you talk about that a little bit? Adjacent the train platform.
LT: So in terms of the biodiversity and those environmental taiao matters, mana whenua have been really strong advocates in terms of returning native plantings where possible. So nine times out of ten, with developments and stuff that are going on, it's always going to be kind of, it's a standard now, which is really cool. And also in terms of how do we green up this infrastructure. So, there's plantings up the side of the wall. So that's been really good.
One of the things for Auckland Transport is really around the maintenance, and the stuff that you can't see. Where's all the heavy metals and that going, and that kind of stuff, and so mana whenua are always happy to push those boundaries. So, where you have the various standards in Council, mana whenua are always saying to the likes of Auckland Transport and others, we actually don't like the standards, we actually want you to do better.
JK: So instead of just having the least worst impact, you're actually wanting to have a positive impact on the environment through development. So leaving it better than it was when you found it.
LT: It's not okay to just go with what's there currently, in terms of if it's bad well then, we're not making it any worse. That's a really poor attitude.
JK: We spoke with Bernadette Aperahama, nō Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa raua ko Te Arawa, a resource consent planner who previously worked on the Auckland Unitary Plan.
Bernadette Aperahama: Within the Unitary Plan I was working on two key parts of the plan, within the Treaty of Waitangi section, and that included the integration of mana whenua values within resource management processes. So, how Māori values would be considered at the conceptual stage, all the way through to monitoring of a resource consent, that resulted in new provisions within the plan, which were integrated mainly through assessment criteria. Through objectives, policies and assessment criteria in the plan, as well as rules. The purpose of them was really to encourage engagement with mana whenua in Tāmaki, and ensuring that their values were at the forefront or influential within resource consent applications, and that Council was considering those, their values, as they assess an application, to make sure that mana whenua were engaged, because often they're completely ignored in resource consent and all Council processes.
In terms of the cultural heritage component, there were two different approaches that were really driven by a lack of focus on Māori cultural heritage by the legacy Councils. So, in some cases, some iwi had no cultural heritage places protected by any formal mechanisms. Others had a few, but overall all Councils had done a pretty poor job. So we were trying to ensure that there were objectives, policies and rules that were driven by the outcomes that mana whenua wanted for their special places. Stage two of that is kind of underway at the moment, where Auckland Council has put together a ten year cultural heritage project, where it's resourcing and supporting iwi authorities through identifying and assessing their cultural heritage places, and then identifying the best mechanism that will protect those places. So for some of them, it will mean that scheduling through the Unitary plan will be the ultimate outcome. And for others, that mechanism might not be so appropriate and Council will work with the iwi authorities and the landowners to determine the best method. So that project is currently preparing to work towards it's first plan change, and it’ll be the first plan change that the Unitary plan goes through.
JK: Now something that I’m really interested in, is how does the work of protecting special places and taonga relate to proactive development, and the role of iwi in that space. Did you have any thoughts on that? I know that protection is kind of inherent in the way the RMA is structured, but I also know that Auckland Council - I've been involved with some work with Auckland Council to proactively get Te Aranga principles integrated and articulating a role for mana whenua in design and development, and I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts on the connection between the two.
BA: It’s all a spectrum. Scheduling is one tool, and the limitations with scheduling is that it doesn't look at the entire landscape, and the landscape - sometimes - can be as important, or more important than the place itself. The place doesn't exist in isolation, for example, if you think about your kāinga, you'll have an urupā nearby, you'll have your marae nearby, you will have places from which your whānau were being sustained, and being taken care of. You'll have your maunga nearby, your awa, your moana, they never exist in isolation. And the Unitary Plan approach initially started off including landscapes, then with the focus on sites of significance where we knew we had enough information to be able to schedule those sites. Then acknowledging that Auckland was about to undergo, well, was actually going through a massive amount of development, both residential and infrastructure type development. There were lots of places that were at risk, and those places were places where there was a lot of information that Māori occupy these coastal areas, for example, and so it wasn't unusual to expect that there would be quite a high concentration of markers of Māori origin within these places. Yet, there hadn't been site visits undertaken, and a certain amount of information that would give them the same protection through an environment court process, as say a scheduled site. But we didn't want to forget about them, and we needed to make sure that there was some kind of protection given to them. Through the appeal process, and as the Unitary Plan evolved, those sites dropped out. So there's thousands and thousands more sites that need protection, but at least Council is aware that they're there. There's enough information about them publicly, for people not to plead ignorance. So, the whole package initially had cultural landscapes, two levels of protection, and rules throughout the plan. The sites of value - which is what they were called - have now dropped out. There is still the ten year Council project that's still running, that will enable those places to be brought in over time. And there's still triggers through the Unitary Plan itself, which enables you to bring focus to those places, though they certainly don't have the formal level of protection that the scheduled sites have.
Tools like the Te Aranga principles, they come at a conceptual stage. Well, I believe they should be at the conceptual stage of a development. I often see projects that I work on have almost three arms to them - this is before they're lodged, through Council, for any kind of formal assessment. There is the regulatory component. Then there is more of an environmental focus, where you'll have mana whenua representatives guiding agencies, such as NZTA or Auckland Transport, through the environmental outcomes and the methodologies that they might use to - for example - have cleaner water, cleaner stormwater runoff a major road arterial. And then the third component of it is the mahi toi component, where I see that mana whenua are asked to share their kōrero about their place, about their landscape, and they work with the agencies to be able to articulate through different canvases, I guess. What the place means to them. And I’ve seen that done quite well, I believe, in the AMETI project - the Auckland to Manukau Eastern Transport. Yeah, so, big projects these days, big public projects, I see, tend to have these three arms. They seem to be working quite well. But through the design component, you're better able to articulate what your connection is to a place, and also use that to leverage off better environmental outcomes as well.
LT: So we're standing at the roundabout, the pretty famous Panmure roundabout.
JK: That’s Lucy Tukua again.
LT: It has six roads that kind of weave off it, as a roundabout. So, you know, it's pretty significant, in terms of being a roundabout. And, in this particular area it's an addition to the AMETI project, so the Panmure Station was kind of the first part, and now the work that's happening with that particular project is from Panmure through to Pakuranga.
My particular role on this project is the cultural design and mana whenua advisor on the project. So we've been able to have our artists closely working with the BECA landscape architects, designers, engineers. So this place where we're standing now, beside the station, bus station, there's going to be a carved waharoa. So that carved waharoa is going to acknowledge - cause, waharoa is an entry point - so, it's going to, in terms of its functionality, it would be an opportunity to not only function as a waharoa for the Pā site, which is South-East of the station, but also back to the maunga. So it'll work as a double function. And, the scale of it is quite huge. So we've had to get engineers onto that stuff. But right through this particular part of the AMETI project, we've been able to have three mana whenua artists involved in the programme, and so I've been working specifically with mana whenua, the consultants, and Auckland Transport, about that cultural narrative and how mana whenua see it.
This area here, specifically where we're standing, the significance is Maungarei. And as we go down through the project, it then becomes Mokoia, and then Wai Mokoia, so the part of the Tāmaki River that's just at the mouth of the Panmure Lagoon, is referred to by mana whenua as Wai Mokoia, as opposed to Wai o Taiki, which is at the opening of the river. So, and then the next part after that is really around the Southern side of the river, or the Eastern side of the river being more associated with waka landing, and occupation, and those kinds of things. So we've been able to develop that narrative, and the artworks that are going along this particular stretch are in relation to that narrative.
JK: It's not just the sites in isolation, but the threads that connect them.
LT: Yeah, so when we talked about the importance of this area as a māra, as a garden, that fed a lot of Tāmaki, the patterning on the retainers are the rau kumara, so the leaf of the kumara vines, and just trying to bring that narrative back so that it's visual, and people will have an appreciation, if we start to peel back the layers, kind of what was here before.
JK: Te Aranga principles have obviously been something that has been useful to mana whenua engaging in development projects, and I'm just wondering now that they're getting a lot of uptake, and everyone's kind of talking about them, what do you think is the next step to kind of evolve and progress and make them continually be useful, or versions of or whatever.
LT: So, I mentioned the regional mana whenua forum that was established pre-amalgamation, and it was at that particular forum that I was able to get Carin Wilson in to talk about the Te Aranga strategy. And the discussion was really good, and mana whenua supported it at that stage. And so that gave us an opportunity to start having conversations and getting uptake from the Councils at that time. So, Manukau City Council, they were quite forward thinking and instrumental in terms of adopting the strategy. They had also had their own urban design panel at the time. I wasn't involved with that then, but the first opportunity I saw to actually start to get the values and principles off the paper and grow some legs was through my involvement with the City Rail Link, through the CRL project. And so my role on there at that time was the Environment Manager for Ngāti Paoa, and so, myself and Hana Maihi were mandated by all the mana whenua that were at the table at the time to work with the design team around the CRL project. And so, I kind of just had this epiphany, and I said to Rau - I've got an idea. And he said, oh what's that? And I said, I think we need to put this into some form of matrix so that not only do we have the principles themselves, but we also have an opportunity to look at exactly what are the physical outcomes or manifestations of those various principles.
So when we talk about the first principle of mana - what is it that's required between Auckland Transport and mana whenua to really identify, articulate, and own the relationship? And, you know, we have these workshops and all that kind of stuff, and for whatever reason, it is what it is, but the value of looking at it through a matrix has been awesome, because now everybody's talking about Te Aranga matrices, and so that was the first time that we'd ever taken those principles off the paper and made them into something. And so the taiao outcomes, being able to raise the bar around standards and things like that.
I guess if we were to review that beginning point to where we are now, and how those principles have really taken shape, I think to acknowledge the work that's actually been done in Tāmaki, as opposed to other parts of the country. I was at a water sensitive cities workshop in Wellington, and people were talking about the Te Aranga strategy and the principles, but they didn't really know what it was. And they were like, you know, Auckland are using it, and it's really cool, but you know we don't really know what it is kind of thing. And I'm like, but it's so simple. It's a process that I feel is easily transferable. But I'm always anxious about people just kind of defaulting to the principles, because what really underpins them are the values, and we always need to be cognisant of, the values are the ones that actually underpin and hold that space for those principles. And they're also very much place-based. You can't talk about Tāmaki cultural narratives in Tauranga. Or designing for an environment like Auckland in Wellington. You know, so, it does require a little bit of work to really understand what they are and then how to work with them.
I guess for me, in thinking about the future, is that it would be awesome if we could actually review those values and principles from a Tāmaki Makaurau sense of place, and story of place, so that they become the Tāmaki strategy for design, or whatever. Maybe design, because then design covers absolutely everything, it's not just about infrastructure or architecture. Yeah, so I think that's kind of the next challenge for us as mana whenua is being able to articulate our own design narratives within a framework.
JK: Underpinning this values-based approach to development is a strong commitment to kaitiakitanga, and environmentally regenerative practices. So what does it mean to be a good kaitiaki in what has become a highly urbanised environment, and one which has perhaps always been, a highly contested and politicised landscape?
LT: The city grew up around me. And I have fond memories of the way it used to be, and some of the places today are just totally incomprehensible in terms of the development. I think about some of the kōrero that my mentors have shared with me over the years, and today is quite significant for me. It's the passing of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick today. One of the things that she always said was, weren't not against development, but we're against development without us. And so, I'm always reminded of that, and I guess my journey within the work that I do now and the work that I have done in the past is making sure that we are being heard, that we are visible as mana whenua. For me not just Ngāti Paoa, but all mana whenua. Because we all have interests across the greater Tāmaki. From the day I set the table at the marae is probably the day I started being a servant for my people.
JK: You can find out more about the Te Aranga principles on the Auckland Design Manual website at aucklanddesignmanual.co.nz.
Indigenous Urbanism Aotearoa Edition is a production of Te Matapihi. Sandy Wakefield does our sound recording, editing, and mixing. Our theme was composed by Thomas Burton. I’m Jade Kake, your host and Executive Producer.
For more information about today’s show and other episodes of Indigenous Urbanism go to indigenousurbanism.net. You can drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you like what you’re hearing, please give us a review or rating on iTunes.
Coming up next on Indigenous Urbanism, we speak with Elisapeta Heta nō Ngāti Wai, an architectural graduate working at Jasmax. Elisapeta is also an artist and academic, and has held significant advocacy roles, including her previous role as Co-Chair of Architecture Women, and current role as the Ngā Aho representative to the New Zealand Institute of Architects Board.
Elisapeta Heta: Could you imagine Auckland, Wellington - Christchurch has made some genuine efforts - but, starting to really embody the notion of the Treaty as being reflected in our cities. That's such an exciting prospect.
I think our generation are probably setting up ways to break down the barriers and all the platforms and foundations for that. Hopefully so that, a generation or two back, they can just start making the big crazy buildings that do embody that notion of what a Māori city might look like.