Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Ngāti Tāwhaki ki Ngāpūtahi: A View on Enabling Their Social Architecture

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posted on 2021-11-12, 10:22 authored by O'Toole, James Michael Séamus

Socially Responsible Architecture is the way in which an architect practices architecture, but more so the way in which they relate and integrate their clients. This thesis explores the nature of a socially responsible architecture through a series of social interactions with the people of Ngāti Tāwhaki ki Ngāpūtahi. Aiming to understand what are the most appropriate design decisions for their architecture and their hapū's future.  This thesis is chronologically taught by real people (the clients of the project) and the lessons learnt through my social interaction with these clients are attributed to the main contention of this thesis, Social Architecture. The design decision-making process for a newly proposed marae at Ngāpūtahi, in Te Urewera, is the means to which I understand how this process differs from mainstream or conventional architectural practice. The means to which I understand what the most appropriate way of practicing this architecture is through an understanding of Kaupapa Māori theory but more so understanding my clients through the relationships that I have formed with them.  Within this thesis the nature of these relationships and the way in which they originated are explored. It is an exploration into not only the nature of this architectural project but also an exploration into how my contentions about the nature of this socially responsible architecture developed. Thus a personal insight into how my learning developed throughout the process.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Parkes, Peter