Clean freshwater is a valued resource worldwide. With the rapid growth of population resulting in extensive urbanisation and climate change, maintenance and access to such a taonga (treasure) is of growing importance.
In Māoridom, the waterways of Aotearoa-New Zealand are considered the bloodlines of Papatūānuku (Earth Mother). The personal connection and well-being of these waterways are of vital importance to the well-being of the people. However, over time traditional tikanga (customs) has become overpowered, and urbanisation has led to severe degradation and pollution.
Furthermore, the existing management of waterways is unnatural, often restricting them with hard edges, straightened channels and monoculture plantings along the banks. Not only does this create issues from an ecological perspective, but it destroys the mauri (life force) and integrity of these ancestral beings.
This thesis aims to investigate Māori narratives, values, and beliefs to inform design-making decisions in stream and public space remediation. The Masterton area, specifically the Makoura stream will be explored as a case study for remediation of the waters and surrounding public space.