Māori-led book challenges way we think about environment, land (whenua) and landscape


Edited by Carolyn Hill for Landscape Foundation

Foreword by Dame Anne Salmond

Mary Egan Publishing; 01 March 2021; RRP: $55.00

Māori-led book presents rich seam of visual essays, papers, poetry and polemics which challenge the way we think
about environment, land (whenua) and landscape in a changing world.

Global alarm bells are ringing as the impact of human habitation reaches crisis point. Biodiversity loss, climate change and pollution have led to a global call for action – a change in how we perceive, relate to and care for our whenua.

Confronting the pain of alienation and whenua loss for all Indigenous peoples, Kia Whakanuia te Whenua/People Place Landscape offers an alternative world view. It also seeks to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking, share and integrate
knowledge, and create positive change for all who reside in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Landscape Foundation, a small charitable trust founded by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects in 1999, commissioned 44 writers across a range of disciplines to share their perspectives and expertise. The views of Māori and Pakeha are well represented; Aboriginal, Native American (Iowa tribe, USA) and Irish voices offer a global perspective.

Together, the writers – landscape architects, historians, academics, urban planners, conservationists, and more – tackle pressing issues. Their progressive thinking appreciates the interconnectedness of all living things and looks to the kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of Indigenous peoples and best practice to future-proof both rural and urban land/seascapes. Topics covered include:
• Growth of cities, infrastructure and The Resource Management Act (Lee Beattie, urban designer and planner)
• Carbon gardens in an era of climate crisis (Rod Barnett, landscape architect)
• Land, water and wellbeing (Bela Hinemoa Grimsdale, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Toa, landscape architect, LandLAB)
• Landscape education – addressing climate change, social inequality and affordable housing (Fleur Palmer, Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri), Architect, Spatial Activist and Associate Professor, Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies, Auckland University of Technology)
• Creating productive, sustainable landscapes through research-based collaborative design (Thomas Woltz, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects; Patron and Ambassador, Landscape Foundation).

Kia Whakanuia te Whenua was inspired by concern for protection and management of the whenua. As Dr
Diane Menzies (ONZM), Landscape Foundation Chair, writes in the Introduction, “We seek to draw attention
to ways of thinking about our land and to land management issues which affect our future. Our aim is to
present a range of ideas, policies, aspects and situations which might change the way we think about
environment, land and landscape, and to highlight gaps in knowledge regarding landscape protection issues
and management.

“We believe that changes in our relationship with the whenua will eventually result in a national outcome of environmental wellbeing, as well as enhancing cultural vibrancy, cultural identity, and social cohesion,” says Menzies.

Kia Whakanuia te Whenua is an urgent call to action to honour our land and rekindle creative, respectful ways of living on the earth. It is critical reading for planners, policymakers, students and practitioners in land and water management, and for all who are willing to listen to the land and what it can teach us. Kia whakanuia te whenua: celebrate and honour the land.

The Landscape Foundation aims to draw attention to landscape change. They also aim to explore options for managing Aotearoa New Zealand’s landscape using the very best techniques and knowledge. Having worked in landscape advocacy, their emphasis is now on making landscape and environmental research undertaken in diverse disciplines more accessible.

The NZILA Education Foundation was registered by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects in
1999 as a charitable trust. In 2015 the NZILA Education Foundation was renamed the Landscape Foundation.

Dr Diane Menzies is a past president of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects. She was appointed to the Environment Court of New Zealand as a Commissioner in 2001. Menzies was elected President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects in 2006, serving two terms as President, and was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the environment in 2008.

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