Two national exhibitions have been held in relation to MTM work at:
Ōtaki Library Exhibition (September 2014); and
Overseas Passenger Terminal (31 October – 2 November 2014).
A number of international presentations and exhibitions of MTM work have also been held, including:
Architectural Design Research Symposium in Venice, Italy (20-21 Nov 2014); and
8th International Biennial of Landscape Architecture in Barcelona, Spain (25 Sept 2014) – at which it received a “Special Mention award for ‘heritage’ by the conference jury”
These exhibitions showcased landscape designs developed through the collaboration between the 4th Year Students at the Landscape Architecture Bicultural Design Studio (Victoria University) and the Manaaki Taha Moana Horowhenua Case study with Taiao Rauawa, which covers a valued cultural landscape on the south-west coast of Horowhenua to Kapiti, between Hokio and Waitohu. More information is available here.
The studio emerged out of a series of discussions in 2008-2010. Associate Professor Penny Allen (Victoria University, Wellington), Megan Wraight, Landscape Architect (Wraight & Associates, Wellington) and Dr Huhana Smith (Taiao Raukawa and Research Leader Māori for Manaaki Taha Moana Research project) investigated the perceived lack of Māori influence in cultural and public landscapes and set about to teach a bicultural design studio that aims to engage Landscape Architecture students and staff in biculurally relevant landscape programme of studies and activities. To activate the studio, a first noho marae for students was held at Te Pou o Tainui Marae, Ōtaki 12-13 March 2011. As the studio experience deveoped and improved with student feedback, a week-long wānanga was held at Tukorehe Marae, Kuku from 11-17th March 2012. The studio activities of that week long effort added to the series of hikoi or walking/talking meetings of the case study itself. A range of local and regional specialists were made available to the students including local kaumatua with deep knowledge of place and tikanga, kaitiaki Māori from the community, and other experts in coastal processes, archaeo-seismology, ecological economics and ecology.
MTM is a research project that encourages, supports and raises the capacity of kaitiaki to actualise potential and real-time environmental projects. See www.mtm.ac.nz. Kaitiaki benefit from the technological and illustrative skills of students to help them visualise and plan the action required for environmentally sustainable projects within cultural landscape.
The students of 2012 concentrated on four areas within the case study region between Waitohu Stream, Ōtaki and Waiwiri Stream, Muhunoa, Ōhau, particularly for Lake Waiorongomai and stream to sea; Waikawa coastal region; Kuku/Ōhau coastal region, and Waiwiri Stream from Lake Waiwiri (Papaitonga) to sea.
The exhibitions shows how creative the exercise is for students’ learning outcomes. While only some of the student’s works were on display, they present visually rich ideas for enhancing local sites like Wairorongomai, Waikawa and Waiwiri Stream to Lake Waiwiri (Papaitonga). Between Waiwiri and Waiorongomai there are six, actual projects emerging out of the research conducted, which will have mutually beneficial outcomes for kaitiaki of the ecosystems and the whole community.
The MTM research project re-invigorates once strong interlinks between hapū across their landholdings in order to increase contemporary aspirations for better environmental sustainability of farming and proposed subdivisions. The aim is to encourage better design with better solutions that actively protect and enhance remaining natural integrity. It is important to encourage the wider community to respect the sensitivity of the unique coastal dynamic in the case study- its rare bird, plants and dune sytems.
There are currently six identified enhancement projects for streams, dune lakes, wetlands, dune fields and shellfish as led by kaitiaki, with Māori farming incorporations and experts working together. We hope that the learning environments created for students will increase their work with kaitiaki and encourage kaitiaki to study landscape architecture. It is time to visualise solutions-focused, action plans in the real world that in turn will rehabilitate valued ecological systems within the targetted case study region.