Photo credit: Auckland Council
Nau mai, haere mai ki tēnei kaupapa hirahira
Welcome to this important project
Before the colonial settlement of Auckland, a living, laughing stream flowed through this site, a wellspring of mauri that reflected the health of the natural environment.
The creation of Auckland’s urban form has seen natural waterways in the city centre lost from sight and progressively covered over. Rainfall and natural groundwater is now channelled, piped and then discharged as waste, flushed under and through the city and this site out into Te Waitematā.
This project reminds us that these waterways still stand in collective memories, and highlight the need for us all to care for and work with the natural environment and particularly our water systems, for the sake of all life here in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Te maharatanga o ngā wai – remembering our waters
Oranga wai, oranga tāngata – healthy waters, healthy people.
This project recognises the critical importance of water in all its forms as taonga and the basis for life and the collective wellbeing of all life on this planet.
Whakarongo, whakarongo, whakarongo mai
Ki te maharatanga o ngā wai e rere mai nei, e rere atu rā
Mai i a Ranginui ka heke wōna roimata hei ua ki a Papatūānuku
Ka nekehia e ngā ua i runga i te kiri o te papa ki ngā manga
Ka hakakotahi ai ngā manga ki te awa
E rere mai, kore ingoa erangi toitū tōna mana
Te kura huna i raro i ō mātou tapuwae nei
E rere atu ki Waiatarau
Mai i Waiatarau ki Te Waitematā
Mai i Te Waitematā ki Tikapa Moana
Mai i Tikapa Moana ki Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa
Ka kohikohi anō ngā wai katoa ki a Ranginui, ake ake te hurihanga wai
Ko ngā wai, ō tātou taonga e tuku iho mai
Ki a tātou o te ao tūroa kia tiaki ai, kia manaaki ai
Mō ngā tini hakapaparanga a mua....
Oranga wai, oranga tāngata!
Listen, listen, listen here
To the memory of the waters that flow to here, that flow away from here
The Sky Father’s tears fall as rain to the Earth Mother
The waters gather across the skin of the land as streams
Which unite to become the river
Which flows here without name but with mana intact
The hidden treasure beneath our footprints here in this place
Which flows to Waiatarau
From Waiatarau the waters flow to the Waitematā harbour
From Waitematā they flow to the Hauraki Gulf
From the Hauraki Gulf they flow to the great sea of Kiwa, the Pacific Ocean
These waters all rise to the Sky Father to begin the cycle once more
The treasure that is our waters
Presented to all of us here to safeguard and care
For all of those yet to come....
Healthy waters, healthy people!