Layered Pasts: Cultural Heritage Landscapes in Cities
This thesis aims to understand how indigenous heritage values might be represented in post-colonial urban environments. Using an urban design and landscape architecture lens, this paper builds on an emerging body of heritage knowledge in an attempt to recognize the contrasts between western and indigenous heritage values. Through the study of a selection of indigenous landscape precedents from America, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand, common representational trends of heritage design are identified. These examples illustrate some of the issues that arise when landscapes of indigenous significance are presented within a western heritage framework. The documents, Tapuwae and Te Aranga: Māori Cultural Landscape Strategy are introduced as guides to Māori intangible heritage. These guides are discussed in relation to the New Zealand urban design and heritage discourse. Contemporary outcomes of this current heritage climate include Waitangi Park and Pipitea pa. These are discussed and found to possess a number of values contributing to a positive approach to indigenous heritage design within Wellington’s challenging urban environment. To continue this discussion, 39 Taranaki Street becomes the site of a design exploration. In 2005, three ponga (silver tree fern) whare (houses) of Te Aro pa, were unearthed on this site. The whare are the only known physical trace of the Taranaki whānui’s pa (village), which stood from 1835 to 1902. The whare are currently preserved in-situ as part of an apartment complex. The design concept is to link the past layers to the current and future development of the site and its precinct in order to celebrate the close connection between the past and the present that intangible heritage practices facilitate.