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Te horanuku me te hītoria Māori o te pokapū tāone

Māori landscape and history of the city centre

Meaning of Tāmaki Makaurau

Tāmaki Makaurau, one of the traditional Māori names for Auckland, has many translations, including:

  • Tāmaki, the place desired by many
  • Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga Tangata or Tāmaki, the tethering place of canoes and people
  • Tāmaki kaingā ika me wheua katoa - Tāmaki, a place where the fish are so succulent that they are eaten bones and all.

These names all highlight the desirability of Tāmaki Makaurau as a place of beauty and abundance, and a place to live, work and flourish.

Connection between the city centre and mana whenua

The desirability of Tāmaki Makaurau is reflected in the histories, traditions and stories by Māori tribal groups who have lived the city centre and waterfront area.

For mana whenua, Tāmaki Makaurau is their traditional home and turangawaewae. As the people of the land, or the people who belong to the land, the mana whenua retain a strong connection and sense of belonging to the city centre and the waterfront.

Awa (streams) and the landscape

Streams have defined the physical landscape of the city centre and waterfront.

The Waikuta, Tunamau, Waihorotiu, Waiparuru and Waipapa streams have flowed to meet the waters of Te Waitematā.

The effect of modern development on mana whenua

Mana whenua experience of the city centre and waterfront is the basis of which all historical experiences have been added to over centuries.

Mana whenua existence and visibility has since been disrupted by the development of the urban environment.

This has limited the ability of mana whenua to maintain their traditional kaitiaki role over natural and cultural features. It has also limited their ability to enact their responsibilities to other people as tangata whenua.

Te Ao Māori concepts such as kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga and manaakitanga offer the city centre and waterfront an integrated approach to protecting and enhancing our treasured environments for ourselves and for future generations.

Embedding these concepts into our thinking and decision-making supports a focus on the interrelationships between the natural environment, people and the importance of mauri in the urban environment.

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