Local iwi collective, Te Waiohua (Te Ākitai, Ngāti Tamaoho and Ngāti Te Ata) with Eke Panuku worked together on the plans. They became Te Whakaoranga o Te Puhinui: Te Rautaki, Te Puhinui Regeneration Strategy. Eke Panuku commissioned Auckland-based sustainable design practice Resilio Studio to help develop and visualise them.
The strategy was launched in December 2020 and featured at COP26 in 2021. It won an ‘Outstanding Award’ from the Asia Pacific International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).
The judges’ description was glowing. “An excellent project that integrates Western ecological planning and design strategies with indigenous narratives. The layering of metaphysical information and design quality is impressive, while the methodology, planning process and design guidelines are highly innovative, exhibiting exemplary thought leadership.”
It has now won the 2022 Charlie Challenger Supreme Award from Tuia Pito Ora New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA). The judges called it “an outstanding example of processes around stream regeneration in South Auckland, within a wide cultural and natural setting”.
Karen Wilson is Chair of Te Ākitai o Waiohua.
“We pay tribute to and rejoice with iwi Māori, and mana whenua nationally," she said. "We acknowledge NZILA, which continues to push the boundaries and the sea change within. We have committed to and bind to our partnership with Eke Panuku, and Resilio Studio. What an exciting challenge to now realise this plan for the communities of South Auckland and Te Puhinui. This is for you. Kia kaha koutou katoa.”
Barry Potter is Auckland Council Director of Infrastructure and Environmental Services. He puts the success down to “true partnership” with mana whenua.
“From early on in the projects, our mana whenua partners worked with the design teams to bring their knowledge and understanding of place to every level of design. Their contribution has ensured we are delivering uniquely Tāmaki Makaurau spaces for all to enjoy.”