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Landscape Foundation calls for the protection of Ihumātao

The Landscape Foundation (LF) will be joining Ngā Aho - Māori Design Professionals Network in visiting the whenua and whānau at Ihumātao on Saturday 24th August at 1.30pm, and encourage members of the design and landscape communities to join in support.

“We are calling for landscape professionals, academics, planners, architects and affiliated peoples to recognise the injustice of the Crown confiscation of Ihumātao, and to play our part in supporting the return of the whenua and it’s protection moving forward” says Dr Di Menzies, trustee of the Landscape Foundation.

LF supports recent statements made by organisations Te Matapihi and Ngā Aho, who assert that Ihumātao is a land issue, not a housing issue. LF also agree that this is a government issue. LF shares the conviction that “the Crown’s hara (wrongdoing) sits at the heart of today’s dispute”, as Ngā Aho have stated. The land at Ihumātao was confiscated by the Crown in 1863 as part of the raupatu during the New Zealand Land Wars.

LF recognises that Ihumātao is a unique landscape and spiritual, cultural and historical place that requires protection as a heritage landscape. The proposed development of SHA 62 by Fletchers Residential (Fletchers), while only taking place on the SHA (Special Housing Area) land, will have a devastating and irreversible impact on a huge number of the taonga at Ihumātao.

“From a landscape perspective, we recognise that the whenua at Ihumātao holds immense significance as a place of continuous human occupation over many centuries. Because of this, the land is significant to all people of Aotearoa, not least the people who have ancestral connections to this whenua. The inherent and intrinsic values embedded in this landscape should be respected and upheld and mana whenua should always retain their right to exercise kaitiakitanga over this whenua,” says Menzies.

The Landscape Foundation urges the Prime Minister and the Government to recognise the importance of this whenua to mana whenua and the values associated by returning the whenua and protecting the landscape at Ihumātao.

The Landscape Foundation aims to draw attention to landscape change. The Foundation also aims to explore options for managing our landscape using the very best techniques and knowledge.

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