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



NZILA Firth Conference 2018_ Student Charrette, April 9-11 2018


In advance of and parallel to the Tuia Pito Ora | NZILA Firth Conference on April 12-13 2018, a multi-disciplinary student design charrette will be held at Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka | Unitec Institute of Technology in Ōwairaka, Tāmaki Makaurau. Students of 3-4th year studies in landscape architecture, urban design, architecture, surveying, planning and related disciplines from Auckland University, AUT, Unitec, VUW, Lincoln, Otago and other universities, as well as representatives from Australian built design courses, will be invited to work on the theme of Decolonising the City.

Homes Land Community (HLC), a subsidiary of Housing New Zealand, is a participating partner of the charrette. Students will study an area of Onekiritea | Hobsonville Point which HLC are currently redeveloping, to suggest ideas and interventions at different scales to effect decolonisation. Sites like these present a pressing challenge for Tāmaki Makaurau today, this challenge will require students to delve into and explore the needs of mana whenua and the communities whose home this area is, as well as the mandate to provide more homes. Students will work in mixed disciplinary groups to consider a decolonised urban fabric.

This charrette aims to give students an opportunity to explore the broader challenge, which is pertinent to Aotearoa today:

How might we contribute to
decolonising our urban form
and cities across Aotearoa
and beyond?


Definitions of decolonisation abound but seem to focus on process driven acts. For Hutchings, decolonisation is about “opening the minds of many Māori and non-Māori in understanding both a truer history of this country and generating new tools to create a more meaningful process of reflection and dialogue” (nd.). Veracini adds that acknowledging and understanding forms of settler colonialism can contribute to decolonisation processes due in part because “settler colonialism has been in many ways remarkably resistant to decolonisation” (2007:1). Sherwood & Edwards talk of agendas set towards the “amelioration of the impact of those [colonialism] dynamics.” (2006:184).

Definitions are often found in the fields of health, education and more generally, settler colonial studies however, what decolonisation might mean for the built and natural environments is less well understood. A recent project undertaken by Ngāti Toa and Victoria University of Wellington, Imagining Decolonised Cities sought to elicit ideas through an urban design competition for two sites in Porirua. The definition used to guide contestants in contrast to the ones above concentrated on outcomes for the tangible realisation of decolonisation in the built environment. It drew on notions of place identity and social justice: two outcomes of a decolonisation process, and read ‘Cities that are equitable places for all whānau, reflecting Māori identity and values’ (

To this end decolonisation is about processes and outcomes, both important in responding to the design charrette site. Key questions participants will need to ask themselves are:

1. What impact has colonisation had and might continue to have on this site, the people who live there and surrounding it, and the mana whenua groups for whom this is tūrangawaewae? and;

2. What needs to happen in this site to move towards decolonising those impacts? 

  • Sherwood, J., & Edwards, T. (2006). Decolonisation: A critical step for improving Aboriginal health. Contemporary Nurse, 22(2), 178-190.
  • Veracini, L. 2007, ‘Settler colonialism and decolonisation’, Borderlands e-journal, vol. 6, no. 2
  • Hutchings, J. (nd.) Decolonisation and Aotearoa – a pathway to right livelihood, The Swaraj Foundation, [Online] htm, accessed 27 August 2018.


The Landscape Foundation, events organiser; Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka | Unitec Institute of Technology, hosts; and Tuia Pito Ora | New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects now call on staff of relevant university courses and students to register for the charrette using the Registration Form, and send to Diane Menzies,; as well as forwarding payment to the Landscape Foundation as shown on the Registration Form.

For further information, please get in touch with
Diane Menzies
027 532 2866

For full information including flyer/programme click here



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