Recompose, Reconfigure the Resilient Marae: Kei te Tautiaki o ngā Tāngata

Aerial View
Aerial view of design proposal


Propose a hazard-resilient marae for the iwi Ngāti Awa. Do not redesign an existing marae; provide a visual aid to the tāngata as they look into the future.

Design on a hazard-prone, river-side site within the Ngāti Awa rohe, where the tāngata of the iwi hold mana whenua. Consider the place of a Ngāti Awa marae in an increasingly urban context.

Prepare for flooding and seismic activity ahead of disaster by considering contemporary construction techniques harmoniously with customary construction knowledge. The marae must be able to withstand the hazard and provide support following the event.

Undergo a thorough design process to explore themes prevalent in research throughout the thesis. An exploratory design process will abstractly visualise these identified themes. Through an iterative development process, these ideas will be translated into physical, habitable form. This process must provide a sufficient justification for design choices leading to the final proposition.

Utilising vital hangatanga-mātauranga Māori, how can the essential marae be recomposed within Ngāti Awa’s contemporary hazardscape?

We never know the worth of water until the well runs dry
Pay attention to Papa

Historically, marae have regularly come to the aid of their wider communities in the event of a disaster. This thesis aims to support iwi to make their marae more resilient so that they may safely continue to provide post-disaster support. This research hopes to lead iwi to a better understanding of hazard planning, risk reduction, hazard response, and general management.

This thesis locates itself within the rohe (boundary) of Ngāti Awa—an iwi with a unique bond to their awa (rivers) and broader landscape. Currently, Ngāti Awa marae are extremely vulnerable to flooding and shifting lands, causing damage to both people and architecture.

Aerial Plan
Address: 32 Kakahoroa Drive, Whakatāne 3120

This thesis acts as an intricate river system. Every kaupapa (topic) is a tributary stream, feeding into the awa as it moves towards one final juncture: an iwi-specific design proposal for a hazard-resilient future marae.

Tributary Streams
The tributary streams of the thesis system

This research is initiated with an in-depth, technologically innovative study of the social scape, hazardscape, and marae infrastructure of Ngāti Awa. The investigation examines relevant literature and utilises existing digital resources to streamline available knowledge to benefit the tāngata (people) of Ngāti Awa and Māori-specific hazard research as a whole.

Ngati Awa Atlas
Investigating the generic Ngāti Awa marae condition

This research highlights that local knowledge is essential in designing the structure, form, and materiality to achieve a successful architectural solution. Success is defined by the structure’s longevity – in terms of both resilience and usefulness to the community. Maintaining culturally appropriate and iwi-specific kaupapa is the most effective way to achieve the aforementioned ‘usefulness.’

Ground floor plan | First floor plan
Entering waharoa | From waharoa
Within wharekai | Wharekai section