Map-based tools for Community and Rūnanga-led sustainable town planning, in small and medium settlements in New Zealand

Project description

Our research focuses on the development of place-based tools to support local Māori communities to engage in and lead local spatial planning processes. The overall aim of the project is to strengthen the integration of mātauranga Māori and local knowledge in town planning in Aotearoa New Zealand. We are working with two local communities – Tūāhiwi Village in the Waimakariri District and Ōhinemutu Village in Rotorua – to co-create bicultural spatial planning tools for this purpose. Our research incorporates appropriate collaborative methodologies and co-creation processes.

Protection, partnership, and participation – three principles of the Treaty of Waitangi – are key to guiding the development of authentic partnerships with both communities. These processes reflect the unique organisational structures and planning priorities of each community. Other local communities around Aotearoa New Zealand will be able to utilise this research customising tools developed to support their own cultural aspirations, both in terms of land – community revitalisation as well as regeneration processes for villages and neighbourhoods.

Research Outcomes

Case Study 1: In partnership with Ngāi Tūāhuriri, through Whenua Maori Services Limited, we have developed ‘Common Ground’. This place-based web tool has been developed to reconnect Ngāi Tūāhuriri whānau with each other and their whenua, including Tuahiwi village and other Māori Reserves within the Waimakariri District. The research aims to support whānau to improve land management across their takiwā . End-users include Ngāi Tūāhuriri whānau and authorised stakeholders who provide land use revitalisation services (e.g. native ecosystem experts, carbon farming consultants). Mātauranga specific to each land block is able to be collected, development options for the whenua developed and actions recorded. This may be of interest to other mana whenua and local communities, specifically villages that have gone into significant decline or ceased altogether as a result of urban migration and coloniality processes, communities who wish to reconnect with their land. Supporting mana whenua in socio-economic revitalisation of their whenua is crucial to bicultural approaches to spatial planning and regional development.

Case study 2: In partnership with Te Manatōpu Haukāinga o Ōhinemutu, supported by Te Tatau o Te Arawa, we have developed Te Kete o Kōrero ki te Ōhinemutu. This place-based web tool collates, protects and enables the sharing of local knowledge collectively held by Ngāti Whakaue and the people of Ōhinemutu Village. The research initially focussed on gathering cultural narratives about ngāwhā (geothermal phenomena and landscapes) and their relationships with the community. However the tool has been designed to hold other mātauranga within other realms of knowledge. These narratives are organised through koromātua (sub-tribe), type (including traditional, planning, Treaty, lived experiences, historical and scientific narratives), and through Atua (seven key spiritual guardians).Te Kete o Kōrero o Ōhinemutu will assist community led urban regeneration of the village. The cultural narratives contained in the tool will guide decision-making around spatial planning. The tool will link the community to multiple end-users (e.g. wider whānau, local planning authorities, public, etc.) and enhance awareness of the wealth of mātauranga within Ōhinemutu village and Ngāti Whakaue. The tool takes a layered approach to privacy and the protection of IP, with different levels of access and detail for tool users – public, koromātua, and whānau. Connecting mana whenua, local communities and planning authorities through place-based mātauranga is crucial to ensure bicultural approaches to urban regeneration.

Governance architecture of Te Kete Kōrero o Ōhinemutu


Whenua Maori Services Limited, Te Tatau o Te Arawa, Te Manatōpū Haukāinga o Ōhinemutu

Share the Post: