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6.6.1 Community Village Concept Plan - Project Details:

Description: (see project roadmap)

This project was initiated by Ngati Whare Runanga member Bronco Carson in Mid 2003 who was looking for students from an architecture school to help research some innovative housing and community developments using locally available materials. The UNITEC School of Architecture responded to this project opportunity and two tutors from the Maori design unit Rau Hoskins and Carin Wilson attended the Tipu Ake / Kaitiakitanga hui held at Te Whaiti on 19-21 March 20034 to scope project.

A team of around 20 students worked with the community in the semester starting 19th July 2004 to prepare a concept plan for the future.. The team objective was to work with the community - to do it with us not to do it for us. The initial scope of the work was very broad. It started with a community dream list. This changed as as more was learnt about available resources, skills, costs, urgent needs etc. The students did an amazing amount of valuable background research on history, ecotourism, permaculture etc as preparation. Their task was not just to provide a paper design but also to help our community start building some new facilities using locally available resources and materials.

We accommodated them on our marae. At the end of six weekend trips, the project delivered.

Concept plans for the ongoing revitalisation and development of our village (built as a timber town in 1948). After each visit they returned to their Auckland Studio to do more research and produce more ideas that they shared on the next visit, so that our ideas got better and better and also more practical. They built a model town plan that helped us consider our housing, local and visitor services, recreation areas, replanting, landscaping and providing for future commercial enterprise that would bring income to our valley.

Plans and renovation work on buildings in the old forestry compound that we could recycle. This includes plans for creating a Native Tree Nursery and a community garden area that we can easily complete with our own volunteer resources. They also helped us make a good start at refurbishing another building to become our Whirinaki Enterprise Centre.


Their work included the construction of an outdoor canopy with seating and barbeque all made with locally obtained materials, which turns this building an attractive place to start many new activities like education, arts and crafts, visitor information, activity meeting point, refreshment stop in the future. We are completing this ourselves.


Detailed plans that they prepared in their studio in Auckland for our Whanau Support Group and Town Council to help them progress their idea to convert existing buildings to make a Minginui Community Centre that will become the hub of the village.. This will provide administrative offices, homework / computer rooms, a library, a food outlet and other community facilities. This is probably a short term project that we could start quite quickly if we can raise the funds required.


A range of possible options that they planned and modeled in their Auckland Studio for renovating and extending our Hall to allow make it into a much more effective community space, with meeting rooms and a gym for our youth to use. This is a longer term project possibility that we can work towards.


We cannot thank the many friends we made from UNITEC enough for their koha to our community. It has helped us see a lot of things we can now do ourselves. We hope that for them the learning experience of working with us and the "hands on" building experience they gained here will give them a valuable start for their careers. We trust that this will be the start of a long term relationship and they will choose to return to help our Runanga, Marae Board and Village with more developments in our valley.

The community has no funding to carry out all the results of this concept plan at this stage, except for the basic nursery and Whirinaki Information / Enterprise Centre, but the plan will give us something to aim towards.

Reflections on our Project process.

This project was run on organic Tipu Ake lines - We took the opportunity presented by UNITEC, without knowing exactly what would come from it. The first stages were done with a very open minds; researching and gathering information, sensing where the biggest needs and available supporting resources were, then adjusting our path to maximise the expected outcomes. We had to find win-win solutions including UNITEC student development and learning needs. We always had to be careful that some of their more "way out" ideas did not raise our hopes, then leave us with yet another project that could not proceed. We have started with some small very practical ones - see our house maintenance project.

International Connections re Susytainable Housing:

Our UNITEC Friends also met some or our visitors from Lopez Island Washington USA who provided the connection that started our Affordable / Sustainable Housing project (piloting in Raglan)


Outcomes expected:

      Kura students and community members will grow new skills as a result of working with the UNITEC students - SOME CONTACT OVER WEEKEND

      UNITEC students will grow from a rich community and cultural experience. THEY WERE CHALLENGED

      Community members will develop the skills to continue to upgrade and maintain their housing.and facilities. STARTED

      A concept plan will be in place to encourage ongoing development, so that over the longer term:

        The village will be updated from its current 1948 vintage state. STARTING WITH REUSE OF FORESTRY BUILDINGS

        Changes to housing will be suggested to make it more appropriate - NA being done via Housing NZ

        The community facilities will be improved. - MANY IDEAS ARE FLOWING

        The Marae will be better equipped to satisfy future iwi needs - POSSIBLE FOLLOW ON PROJECT

        Facilities to support cultural and eco tourism will be available - STARTING

Start Date: July 2004
Expected Completion:

Nursery area ready to start Sept2004, - SLIPPED to first quarter 2005


Provision was made to cover the cost of travel, office materials, accommodating the student team and the establishment of the stage 1 Nursery facilities in the ECSD fund see Budget allocation spreadsheet

$ 4,662.95 Accommodation and food
$ 2,332.36 Travel Costs
$ 260 Consumable materials
$ 2735.10 Building Materials
$ 173.21 Food for final BBQ
$ 10163.62 TOTAL COST

$18,000 Allocated Budget from program budget spreadsheet v9 dated 28/8/04
$ 7836.38 Balance transferred as budget to start Whirinaki Enterprise Centre project

Nominal Project Leader: Bronco Carlson Runanga (currently absent). Andy Blick - Village Council stepped in and did a magnificent job thanks.

Local Coordinator: A big thanks to Pene Olsen, Community Coordinator, Kokiri Centre, Ph (07) 3663900, the Marae Committees and Whanau Support team and many others for looking after our manuhiri, keeping everyone informed and getting them involved.

Project Team: A wide range of whanau and community groups participated in this project, providing hospitality, arranging the supply of materials, contributing at public meetings and helping on working bees

      The Marae committees who welcomed and hosted our visitors.
      TheMinginui Village Council for community and Hall work
      The Whanau Support Group to coordinate with their activity particularly the shop / community facilities
      The Nursery Project Team for that work
      The Kaitiakitanga Program team to overview and support throughout.
      Many whanau members who stepped inwhen help was needed.
      Our tamariki who as usual kept a close eye on everything going on.

Issues Register

        Flag Date: Issue: Action By Signoff
          26/07/04 Funding required for Hall Maintenance and upgrades Take off work list and produce plan / ideas instead so Village Council can operate as a project later NA  
          Sep 04 Identified Shop remodelling / new facilities as a priority Produce detailed plans so Whanau Support can implement later as a new project. NA  


Progress Log

        Date Details of event or action By
        mid 03 Bronco Carson enquires about Architecture School support for development in valley. BC
        Late 03 Unitec School of Architecture express their interest RH
        19/03/04 Rau Hoskins and Carin Wilson visit Te Whaiti / Minginui to scope project. RH
        18/06/04 This project page completed to include in ECSD fund contract. PG
        20/06/04 Rau Hoskins plan received and entered into project roadmap  
        23-5 Aug Exploratory design retreat with 20 students, decided to use old forestry buildings in corner of compound for nursery and organise a working bee with the community for the next visit. Also took all village and hall plans back to Auckland to copy and work on some proposed improvements that the community could work on. U
        6-8 Sep Visit for community input and needs analysis. Return to studio firstly to develop individual ideas then consolidate collectively as a group to present future concept plans and designs U
        Aug - Sept Return for Village present at meeting in Club and for some working bee activity at Nursery U
        23-25 Oct Final visit to complete the canopy and Nursery building refreshment work as far as possible, present final ideas and celebrate with a community barbeque in the up and coming new facilities U
        28 Oct Final Student critique at UNITEC Auckland attended by Pene Olsen Peter Goldsbury to thank students. PO
        11 Nov This webpage updated. A new project 5.8.1 Whirinaki Enterprise Centre opened to complete renovation. PG
        9 Dec Project closed off and NZTE invoiced for costs PG




Our gift to you - download Free Whirinaki Matariki Wall Calendar

What Andree a sustainability writer discovered about Kaitiakitanga

Coming Easter 2010 Biomimicry Exploration - Norbert Hoeller, Auckland
David Bellamy - Moa's Ark revisited tour Whirinaki 25 4-10 Oct 09
The Maori Youth Hikoi to Bioneers Conference, San Francisco 16 Oct 08
VIDEO "Redesigning our Future" - Youth Forum with Michael Braungart

Papakainga Development - Matekuare Whanau Project underway
Minginui Community Gardening - underway thanks to Community Max
Whirinaki Ecological Technology (We-tech) Our pest control innovation

Check out our school's Energy Monitoring / Weatherstation project

Our drama production, kapakaka and other creative initiatives

Ngati Whare Iwi Treaty Settlement signed, incl partnership with DOC
WEMZ - The Whirinaki Ecological Restoration Zone - a project with DOC
DOC partnerships information kiosk, Mangamate, Sanctuary(proposed)
Take a photo tour through our valley see restoration work needed
Ready to start - our Whirinaki Centre, Nursery and Recycling Projects
Our project to upgrade our water supply in Minginui Mar 07

Thanks TPK for facilitating Govt support for Minginui initiatives
Our network's submission to govt on Rural Community Opportunities

Toxin Bioremediation
Project started in Whakatane May 09
Celebrate what our friends at Hokianga Harbourcare are doing
Our Network's Mycorestoration Research Project - Fungi and mushroom

Our Lopez friends help Raglan with an affordable housing project

Thanks MfE for a big toxin cleanup on our millsites - July 07
Blocked - our Community Digital Strategy - Whirinaki Interactive 12/06
Prince Andrew adopts our Kiwi, Princess Beatrice on Mokoia Is Mar 07
Our network on the Kiwi Youth Voice learning journey to US. Mar 07

Our network at Youth Voice Digital Earth Summit on Sustainbility Aug 06
We welcomed Hunter Lovins 7-9 July 06, VIDEO view NZ tour resources
Thanks Waikato University for help with broadband 05
Thanks Housing Corp, house painting and marae restoration teams
Go Tramping in Whirinaki. See Kaka, Kiwi, Weka, Robin, Blueduck
Report Living Organisation workshops. Tipu Ake presented worldwide 05
Report Hikoi to Indigenous Knowledges Conf , Well, NZ. June 05
Thanks to UNITEC Architecture Students for help with town plans 04
Report on Sustainable Resources Conf, Colorado 04
Report on PMI Global Forum, Los Angeles Tipu Ake paper 04
Report on Sharing Indigenous Wisdom Conf, Wisconsin, June 04
Int and local visitors attend Tipu Ake Retreat March 04 See report
MPs Horomia and Mallard open our new merged area school Jan 04
Trip to Whaingaroa Env Gp Raglan, Jan04 learnings, VIDEO view



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