The key objective of the Principles is to enhance the protection, reinstatement, development and articulation of mana whenua cultural landscapes enabling all of us (mana whenua, mataawaka, tauiwi and manuhiri) to connect to and deepen our ‘sense of place’.

The Principles seek to foster and guide both culturally appropriate design processes and design responses that enhance all of our appreciation of the natural, landscape and built environment.

The Principles are intended as an enabling strategic foundation for iwi/hapū to adopt, customise and further develop in response to local context. The principles also provide other stakeholders and the design community with a clearer picture as to how iwi/hapū are likely to view, value and wish to participate in the design and development of the built environment within their ancestral rohe.

The use of the Principles is predicated on the development of high quality durable relationships being developed between iwi/hapū, their mandated design professionals and local and central government. Robust relationships between these groups provide opportunities for unlocking a rich store of design potential.​