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Questioning The Quarry - Negotiating Landscapes Through Reciprocity

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posted on 2022-07-28, 04:18 authored by Lark, Nathan

Questioning the Quarry, explores an alternative approach in rectifying spatial disconnection between the Kapiti Coast District and their industrial hinterland quarry.

Quarrying remains one of the largest industries, performed by man and machines, which advocates resources beneath Earth’s surface are more valuable once extracted than the natural landscape which lies above. Typically, sites of extraction are distanced from neighbouring townships resulting in little to no “physical relationship”. What opportunities exist when extraction sites are within walking distance from populated areas? What happens when sites are no longer ‘valuable’ left to then be abandoned with nothing but an irreversible scar across the natural landscape?

As global populations increase, so too does the adverse effects which occur on the natural landscape, often detrimental to regional identity. The desire to retreat from the concrete jungle in favour of wide open spaces and freedom the coastal lifestyle offers, has seen the Kapiti Coast become one of New Zealand’s most desirable destinations to settle. Kapiti’s most noticeable addition across the landscape is construction of the McKay’s to Peka-Peka expressway. This expressway is expected to cause significant alterations to the natural dynamic and open space provisions, particularly on the regions eastern areas. Kapiti Quarry, situated in the eastern foothills, provides an opportunity to create meaningful connections between the township, through the quarry and into the mountain ranges beyond, providing quality open space provisions for this increasingly disconnected area.

The intention of this design-led research is to investigate opportunities to create meaningful connections between the Kapiti Coast District and their hinterland quarry. The aim will contribute to alleviating spatial disconnection by creating quality usable spaces for future growth of Kapiti’s Open Space Network. Explorations and research outcomes are the result of design-led experiments exploring “reciprocity” through ways which the public “negotiates” these “landscapes”, one a declining isolated urban area with insufficient open space, the other a post-industrial quarried landscape.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Landscape Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Bryant, Martin; Allan, Penny; Kebbell, Sam