The Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum and Auckland Council are partnering together to give a Category B heritage shelter a new purpose through promoting te taiao (the natural environment) and providing environmental education.
The Forum has membership of the 19 mana whenua of the Auckland region and comes together solely to provide a collective voice on regional and national matters. It does not represent the individual mana whenua, which retain their mana motuhake.
During the renovations of the shelter, the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s artwork, designed by Dave Gunson, was selected to wrap the building to attract Aucklanders’ attention to the project to come.
It is seen as an important first step in terms of repurposing the building – educating manuhiri (visitors) and Aucklanders at the get go, to all aspects of the environment via depictions of marine creatures and the risk to their natural environment, which is a focal point of our roles as kaitiaki. The wrap will be repurposed to be used as promotional banners for events.
The Western Kiosk is intended to provide a Te Ao Māori perspective on our oceans, harbours, waterways and natural environment of the Tāmaki Makaurau region through digital storytelling. The kiosk will become a gateway to the marine environment of Tāmaki Makaurau and its islands where mana whenua share their stories, their art, their heritage.
“Tāmaki Makaurau is surrounded by water with one of the great coastal marine ecosystems of the world. We’re blessed to have such an asset on our doorstep to enjoy, and caring for that asset and its biodiversity is a shared priority for us all,” says Barry Potter, Auckland Council’s Director of Infrastructure & Environmental Services.
The new kiosk will provide a welcoming space to celebrate the cultural richness of the gulf, and to provide a showcase for the work underway to improve water quality and biodiversity in our natural environment.