Te Aranga Principles – Auckland Design Manual

Te Aranga Principles - Auckland Design Manual

Maori design professionals of Auckland | Location: Auckland, New Zealand

The Ministry for the Environment defined character as "the distinctive identity of a particular place that results from the interaction of many factors, including built form, people, activity and history" (MfE 2005:2). For Auckland, part of this identity comes from the narratives of mana whenua and we have worked with them to develop a draft set of Te Aranga Māori Design Principles. These provide a clear process outlining how we can all positively engage with mana whenua and shape our built environment to acknowledge our position as a city in the South Pacific.

Māori culture and identity highlights Aotearoa New Zealand's point of difference in the world and offers up significant design opportunities that can benefit us all.  The Te Aranga Māori Design Principles are a set of outcome-based principles founded on intrinsic Māori cultural values and designed to provide practical guidance for enhancing outcomes for the design environment. The principles have arisen from a widely held desire to enhance mana whenua  presence, visibility and participation in the design of the physical realm.

The key objective of the Principles is to enhance the protection, reinstatement, development and articulation of mana whenua cultural landscapes enabling all of us (mana whenua, mataawaka, tauiwi and manuhiri) to connect to and deepen our ‘sense of place’.  The Principles seek to foster and guide both culturally appropriate design processes and design responses that enhance all of our appreciation of the natural, landscape and built environment.

The New Zealand Urban Design Protocol (UDP) was published by the Ministry for the Environment in March 2005. It was recognised that a clear Māori voice and meaningful involvement in the creation of the UDP had been absent, and that the process undertaken in the development of the protocols did not adequately engage with Māori interests. In response to this lack of consultation, and with the support of the Ministry for the Environment and Te Puni Kōkiri, a hui of Māori professionals working across the design disciplines, the resource management sector and representatives of iwi/hapū organisations from across Aotearoa/New Zealand gathered first at Waitākere in June 2006 and then in November the same year at Te Aranga Marae in Flaxmere to discuss and formulate a draft National Māori Cultural Landscape Strategy. The resultant Te Aranga Māori Cultural Landscape Strategy represented the first concerted and cohesive effort by Māori to articulate Māori interests and design aspirations in the built environment.

Whilst this forum was originally convened to discuss the challenges faced by Māori in the urban realm, it was clearly expressed that hapū and Iwi rohe encompass all parts of the physical environment and that the term 'urban design' did not resonate with a connected Māori worldview. This fundamental position resulted in the adoption of the term 'Māori cultural landscape' as embracing the landscape in its widest form.

A set of seven outcome-oriented design principles emerged from the foundation work of Te Aranga and other projects, including Kaitiakitanga o ngā ngahere pōhatu: Kaitiakitanga of urban settlements (2011), a report commissioned by the Ministry of Science and Innovation that builds on a growing body of research and represents the most comprehensive research completed to date. The report identifies key elements of Mātauranga Māori that can be incorporated into urban planning to allow Māori aspirations to be fulfilled, while also complementing and improving existing urban planning practices.