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Te Ānga Horanuku: Reclaiming heritage in landscape architecture through Māori philosophy of engagement, interpretation and representation

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posted on 2023-01-24, 22:06 authored by Ngatai, Akiwa

Landscape Architecture is still disconnected from the realm of cultural identification. Specifically Māori Architecture and the authenticity of cultural landscapes. Representation and education methods within the architectural profession has shown little interest in unravelling the complexity of indigenous consideration. Since the introduction of the ‘Te Aranga Principles’ and ‘Te Kawenata o Rata’ in 2006 and 2017, architecture lacks in associating ‘tikanga māori’ alongside architectural designs. The disassociation between mainstream practice, academics and students in partnership with tangata whenua remains a significant barrier in addressing issues of awareness and ill-mannered consideration in which māori involvement is disregarded. How the misappropriation and misrepresentation is an outcome of the lack of partnerships, knowledge and educated component in the profession. Although these themes remain evident in practice by the help of misunderstood Western theories, introducing a focused problem that begins to examine how we can design authentic māori landscapes when applying māori values of spirituality alongside the physical.

This thesis examines the relationship between physical representation and spirituality. How we can begin to explore and bridge both the sensory and the visual to create a more authentic and unique sense of place within our landscapes. It begins to asses existing methods of techniques and valued-based methods, questioning how the physical and spiritual can translate into design. This thesis focuses on the value of spirituality when designing for māori, highlighting the sense of traditional and contemporary Māori architecture in Te Arawa Waka.

This thesis aims to capture the significance of how translating spiritual values into Te Arawa landscapes encapsulates how mainstream practices can transform māori concepts into the physical reality of contemporary māori architecture in order to represent māori authentically. By highlighting spirituality in Te Arawa, western notions, Te Noho Kotahitanga Marae, a project that works on techniques that combines traditional and contemporary methods that centres around revealing historical relevance, provides the focus on the research.


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

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Kiddle, Rebecca; Kawiti, Derek