thesis_access.pdf (88.34 MB)
Download file

Moving Forwards,  Looking Backwards:  Re-Contextualising Maori Concepts and Understandings of the Living Environment.

Download (88.34 MB)
posted on 11.11.2021, 23:38 by Scott, Hana

Māori have a unique relationship with the built as a living environment; it is a being—an ancestor, to be respected. Michael Linzey in his essay; ‘Speaking to and talking about Māori Architecture’, distinguishes Maori understandings of architecture and their relationship with the environment from westernised understandings. This reading by Linzey highlights Māori treatment of architecture as a respected ancestor with whom Māori engage in a dialogue. This dialogue enables Māori to participate with their built and natural environment in a personal and intimate way. A study of the unique relationship Māori have with their built and living environment provides us with an opportunity to learn to engage with our surroundings in a more sensitive and respectful manner, that would contribute to our current and urgent search and need for not just a sustainable architecture, but one that facilitates and sustains our relationships with each other, and the built and natural environment. This study embraces this window of opportunity suggested by Linzey’s essay and looks backwards to explore Māori concepts and values within the built environment. Could this unique relationship Māori have with their living environment be useful to architecture, and if our approach to design took on these understandings could it lend itself to helping to establish a more people, place and environmentally sensitive architecture?


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


de Sylva, Shenuka