The Dragging of Mauao

2021, Design 6

Tauranga City has been struggling to maintain liveliness, with many plans currently underway to rejuvenate the largely desolate city centre, though these plans lack a sense of cultural identity and fail to present a Māori worldview to a largely uneducated demographic.

My project works to correct these issues; Mauao was a nameless maunga of Hautere forest, its love for the neighbouring maunga Puwhenua was overshadowed by Otanewainuku. Under immense sorrow, Mauao asked the Patupaiarehe of the forest to drag him out to sea. In the process of being dragged out to sea Mauao carved out Tauranga harbour, which has since been reclaimed by early Europeans and is now the location of Tauranga’s waterfront and the site of my project. My project seeks to restore Māori worldview by retelling the story of Mauao through a restoration of the original Tauranga harbour by declaiming land and presenting ideas of dragging through architectural massing with spaces for storytelling, a cultural centre, and gallery to educate the population. The project also intends on rejuvenating the city centre, by providing public spaces through modernised Māori forms and marae ātea to restore Māori worldview into Tauranga’s urban fabric.