Māori Architecture Series to Debut

The Drawing Board, a new series about a new wave in Māori architecture, will reshape Monday nights on Whakaata Māori.

Here’s the media release:


“Mā mua ka kite a muri, mā muri ka ora a mua.”  (Those who lead give sight to those who follow, those who follow give life to those who lead.)

A new wave of modern Māori-driven and designed architecture is emerging across Aotearoa, revitalising our architectural landscape with modern Māori influences and weaving a powerful connection between our past, our present and our future.

Examining how indigenous architectural design is reshaping our spaces through a Māori lens is the objective of THE DRAWING BOARD premiering 27 February at 7.30 PM on Whakaata Māori.

The eight part series was co-funded by NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho.

Professor of Architecture at Victoria University Wellington, Derek Kawiti (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou), leads viewers on a journey of exploration, visiting construction sites and completed buildings.

Professor Kawiti says it’s time to broaden our perspectives and to ask the question, ‘what does contemporary Māori architecture look like?’

“Tikanga and mātauranga Māori as it informs architecture and its relationship to the environment has become increasingly vital,” says Professor Kawiti.

“Māori have always understood that no matter the natural environment, the spaces we consciously create, or unconsciously leave behind, powerfully influence the success of our living environment.

“Māori-led projects, clients, designers and architects are challenging the status quo, and informing more thoughtful decisions based on kaitiakitanga about the places we share.

“Greater wealth among iwi throughout the country, a growing trend towards people learning te reo Māori and  gaining a better understanding of Māori culture is resulting in the development of new Māori-led and inspired architectural projects,” he says.

“Each new structure is an opportunity to make smarter decisions about spatial design, making the outcomes we collectively achieve functionally and aesthetically superior, and forging a space for clear Māori design that incorporates an indigenous aesthetic for a more holistic approach to architecture,” says Derek Kawiti.


MONDAY 27 FEBRUARY AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 1 – Exploring what makes a building Māori, Derek visits Te Raukura in Wellington and Scion in Rotorua, which provide a built canvas for Te Ao Māori and declares mana whenua in a very physical way .

MONDAY 6 MARCH AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 2 – With Paora Tapsell, Derek explores Tūrama a whare, which embeds whakapapa into the built form creating a connection to a place beyond where the eye can see.

MONDAY 13 MARCH AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 3 – Derek travels to a small papakāinga development in Rapaki with Perry Royal, and Ngāti Whātua unveil plans to expand their ground-breaking multi-level papakāinga development in Tāmaki Makaurau.

MONDAY 20 MARCH AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 4 – Derek visits Te Ara a Tāwhaki at Te Wānanga o Raukawa and explores the process of collaboration between Pākeha architects Tennent Brown and Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

MONDAY 27 MARCH AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 5 – Derek visits post-quake Christchurch to see if the rebuild of Aotearoa’s most quintessentially English city has shaken off its colonial past and embraced Ōtautahi’s rich Māori heritage.

MONDAY 3 APRIL AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 6 – Derek visits Te Rau Karamū Marae, a masterpiece of interwoven philosophies, artwork and technology, which has won multiple awards and received massive recognition in the design world.

MONDAY 10 APRIL AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 7 – Tere Insley, Elisapeta Heta & Raukura Turei, wahine toa incorporating an indigenous aesthetic that considers tikanga and mātauranga Māori, shaping spaces through a Māori lens

MONDAY 17 APRIL AT 7.30 PM: EPISODE 8 – Arrowtown-based Louise Wright delivers bespoke architecture with environmental engagement and considered construction.

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