Ngāi Tahu

One of the aspirations for central city Anchor Projects is to recognise Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu heritage and places of significance. Ōtākaro is working with Matapopore, the mana whenua voice in regeneration to ensure Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāi Tahu values, aspirations and narratives are realised in the rebuilt central city.  The principal Ngāi Tūāhuriri value for the Christchurch Anchor Projects is:

Kia atawhai ki te iwi – Care for the people.

Ngāi Tūāhuriri believes the Anchor Projects and all projects associated with the regeneration of Christchurch must demonstrate care for the citizens of the city and encourage warmth and a sense of welcome.  These principles are being brought to life in a variety of ways, including through the design of buildings and art.

One example is the artworks and words that highlight Ngāi Tahu and European stories along the Ōtākaro / Avon River Precinct.  A Literary Trail has been installed along the length of the Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct. Panels display quotes and pepeha (how to introduce yourself in Maori) by prominent New Zealand poets and writers Apirana Taylor, John Deans, Wiremu Te Uki and David Eggleton.  All 15 of the Literary Trail panels are located at sites relevant to their texts.  Poems which refer to particular locations appear in their vicinity.  Ngāi Tahu texts appear at culturally significant sites. An example of this can be seen at The Terraces.  The words on The Terraces are:

before me

a flotilla of leaves
floats downstream

along the inky black water
of the Ōtākaro how serenely they sail
out of their past

and into their future
behind me

Title: thoughts on the Avon from te ata kura (2004)
Author: Apirana Taylor (b. 1955), Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngati Porou, Ngāti Ruanui 

Apirana Taylor (below) read the words aloud at the official opening of The Terraces in June 2016.  Middle: Apirana and Otakaro Chairman Ross Butler with Prime Minister John Key in the background.  Bottom: a punt in front of the newly completed terraces.

The Terraces official opening

The Terraces official opening with punt

Another example is the 13 paved Whariki Manaaki (woven mats of welcome) installed along the river.  In sequence they reference the pōwhiri process of welcome and support the guiding principle of the rebuild of Christchurch for Ngāi Tahu, Kia atawhai ki te iwi – Be kind to your people.  The Whāriki are designed by expert weavers Reihana Parata, Queen’s Service Medal, and Morehu Flutey-Henare, Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge, with technical support from Wayne Youle, Bachelor of Design.  The Whāriki directly below is located near the Bridge of Remembrance.  It is called Maumahara – Remembering our fallen in battle.  The second example is in place at the Margaret Mahy Family Plaground as is called Te Rau Aroha Kite Tangata - Family Wellbeing.



Te Rau Aroha Kite Tangata Whariki
Regeneration Partners

Greater Christchurch is in a new and exciting phase - regeneration. The city is currently undergoing the biggest and most inspiring urban renewal opportunity in New Zealand’s history. Ōtākaro is just one of the organisations involved in the regeneration of the city.  Regeneration agencies (some new and some existing) have distinct projects and priorities. They are all working together to make Christchurch an even greater place to be.