Ngahere Kauta (Concept for Te Pōti Marae Restoration Project)

5-10 Year Masterplan

The main goal in the short term will be to make the additions necessary for Te Pōti to operate as a fully-functioning marae. Given the remote location and mauri of the site, development should be limited to built interventions that enhance the natural experiential qualities and environmental health of the site.

Vernacular styles and simple technologies are preferred over modernisation. On-site materials should be used wherever possible, and the design of new structures should consider the logistical requirements of barging materials to site. A portable mill could be barged over and used to carefully hand-log and mill some of the old growth native timbers towards the west of the site.

Permaculture systems are strongly recommended, including the utilisation of natural spring water, rainwater tanks and gravity feeds, collection of solar energy for 12V lighting circuits, dry composting toilets, biogas cooking, and bio retention swales for overland flow management, stormwater and grey water treatment.

The planting of edible gardens, sufficient to support a small settlement and keeping in mind likely seasonal occupation patterns should be considered. The development of self-sustaining food forests, along with areas allocated for the cultivation of seasonal crops is recommended.

50 Year Masterplan

Attracting and retaining a living presence will be vital to the restoration and continued use of Te Pōti Marae in the long-term.

Long-term ideas include the development of an artist-in-residence programme. The marae could accommodate 5 x 6 week residence programmes, with 2 weeks turnover and the summer season reserved for hau kāinga. The attraction of arts funding would enable a full-time live-in Kaitiaki to work onsite. This programme could be developed in partnership with the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua in Whanganui, and culminate in an exhibition at the conclusion of the residency.

The programme would be a cultural exchange between visiting artists and hau kāinga, enabling the transferral and retention of stories and oral histories. It is anticipated that (depending on medium) the artist would leave a koha for the marae in the form of a site-specific artwork, which would be a collaborative practice between visiting artist and hau kāinga artists.

The Te Pōti art site could be part of a broader economic/cultural revitalisation programme in the form of a “Whanganui River Art Trail” initiative, with connection and coherent organisation between other sites along the Whanganui river. Other ideas include the provision for a stay-over for trail rides along the right bank, which could be developed as another broader river initiative.

Kauta Concept Design