restoring the mauri of matapouri – stage 1.
The idyllic coastal areas in Whangarei District have seen year on year increases in the number of international and domestic visitors visiting and staying in the beachside towns. Synergine were engaged on behalf of Whangarei District Council (WDC) to engage with the local community and partner with local hapū to deliver a series of infrastructure improvements to address the acute provision shortfalls in the area during the summer peak period. The 20-month programme was co-funded by WDC and the Tourism Infrastructure Fund and included: -
beach restoration work,
installation and amalgamation of signage to improve communication with the public and show more of the local cultural identity,
the provision of improved waste facilities and toilets, and
various carpark and roading improvements.
The delivery of this project was unique in that it sought to partner with the local hapū with a longer-term aspiration to enable the hapū to fulfil their role as kaitiaki (guardians) over the area. Examples of how Māori were empowered as partners in this project include the adherence to Māori protocol and values to make decisions and the use of Māori words and concepts like mauri (lifeforce or the life supporting capacity of something) to measure the impact of and prioritise any proposed improvement.