Welcoming park visitors with a design that acknowledges and respects the environment and indigenous heritage
Abel Tasman National Park welcomes approximately 35,000 visitors annually. Located on traditional Māori land, it was important that a renewed Mārahau Terminus, gateway to the park acknowledge and reflect indigenous heritage of the site.
We prepared designs and received consent for replacing the old terminus structure with an outdoor seating area, trail extension, and reconfiguration of the carpark. Artwork installations included our design for hoe (paddles) alongside an existing boardwalk. Our landscape architects prepared a detailed planting plan for the entire site that incorporated plants traditionally used by Māori. Our transport team designed access roads, carparking, and a helipad, while our water engineers solved stormwater, drainage and inground challenges. Imbuing designs with cultural significance was paramount. Iwi (Māori kinship group) designed patterns on the waharoa (entranceway), pou whenua (land marker) and hoe, the total concept being grounded in Mārahau.
We were proud to partner with Gowans Walters & Associates, who designed the new terminus structure. By reallocating spaces, reusing and enhancing existing structures, and involving the iwi, we helped the Department of Conservation create an environmentally and culturally sensitive space.
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