Haumi ē! Hui ē! Tāiki ē! Becoming great ancestors
TOA Architects’ founder Nicholas Dalton has a vision that, by 2040, all its architects will be fluent in te reo Māori and all other firms will have overhauled their policies and practices to ensure te Tiriti is embedded. That way, TOA’s rangitahi will be able to go to any practice and feel safe and valued.
E noho ana ahau ki tōku taumata whakamarumaru o Ngōngōtahā, taka rawa iho ngā wai o Utuhina, e piri nei ki te taha o Pukeroa Oruawhata. Ka huri taku titiro ki Tiheia, e aru kōrikoriko ana ngā wai ō Awahou. E ai rā taku titiro ki nga wai karekare i a Rotorua-nui-a-Kahu. Nō reira, piki mai, kake mai rā! Hōmai te waiora ki a ahau kia tūtakitaki waiora, tūtakitaki nahanaha mai e! Whakaamohia te ao ki uta, whakangāwaritia te ao ki tai! Kei ngā kākahi whakairoiro, kei ngā rake pīngao, huri noa, huri noa, nau mai, haere mai, whakatau mai rā! Whakatau mai rā ki runga i te ki ā ngā mātua tupuna: nō te hōhonutanga ō Te Korokoro ō Te Parata, nō Te Whare Hukahukanui ā Tangaroa, ka puta, ka ora ai te waka kaitā, te waka roa, te waka takere nui ko Te Arawa tērā! Nō ngā waikarekare ā Te Arawa i kawea mai ōku tūpuna, ōku mātua, ā, heke iho mai ki tēnei pīpī manu mākarokaro, tēnei ihu hūpē nei. Nō reira, ka tupu ki roto, ka tupu ki waho, ka tupu ki te wheiao ki te ao mārama! He whakatakotoranga ōpaki, kupu pakupaku ēnei e waihanga ana i runga i ōku nei tirotiro haerehanga atu ki te takere ō taku ao whaihanga whare nei. Ka noho ngātahi ki taku whao, he ao hou kei tua e tūmanakonuitia ana e tātou. Nō reira, me whiria te taura here tangata, whiri iwitunatia, kia purutia ai tātou katoa. Ko te urupounamu a Te Arawa nei e mea ana, mā te aha ka rongo te wai ki te aroha o te tangata? Ā kāti, e pātōtō ana te iwi kaihoahoa i runga i te whatitoka o te whare māramatanga? Anā, mā te whakatakoto tūāpapa Māori e whakarauora tonu ai te piringa kei waenganui i ā tātou! Nō reira, hou mai, kuhu mai, tomo mai! Tihei mauri ora!
I founded TOA 12 years ago on my own, after reaching maximum frustration with how projects and anything to do with te ao Māori were being handled. I wanted the practice to be underpinned by te ao Māori and, as such, TOA has two fundamental meanings. In te reo Māori, it means strength, bravery and cutting new ground. The name is Tāmaki Makaurau Office Architecture, referencing Tāmaki Makaurau as the earliest name for the Auckland region. It roughly translates to land of many lovers. We have taken that one step further to mean wherever you may love. We have discovered, over time, that our clients — of no matter what background — have to have a deep love for the whenua. We highlight the vast difference between land and the kupu whenua. Land is a commodity: chopped up like cake and sold to the highest bidder. Whenua also means the placenta in Māori and it is tradition for Māori to bury the placenta in the whenua; it is returned to Papatūānuku — the Earth Mother.
In the evolution of TOA, there are three main periods, past, present and future, or, as the whakatauāki goes, “Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua – I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past”.
Click here to read the full article.
Originally published by Architecture New Zealand Magazine, Issue #1 2023. Shared from www.architecturenow.co.nz.
Image: Te Taumata o Kupe education and events facility.