Tuahiwi MR873, Kaiapoi, Canterbury, New Zealand


Mana-Waitaha Charitable Trust

The Tuahiwi Maori Reserve (MR873) in Kaiapoi, Canterbury, is a living indictment of the systemic disenfranchisement of Maori people from their land.  But it’s also an abject lesson in the effect of inappropriate subdivision of rural land. Almost 80% of the landholding was lost early to the open market and any development rights were subsequently removed by political process.

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What started as a project to protect development rights for Maori land owners and community rapidly evolved into a strategy for the management and development of their land resource for economic and cultural renewal.


The development of new concepts for maori-centric rural-residential clusters revealed powerful planning models for facilitating increased density in the rural environment while preserving and enhancing rural and ecological landscapes. A hugely enhanced local economy as well as a hugely enhanced capacity to sustain its community is an inevitable outcome of the resulting model.


Such was the potential of the approach that the Council (Waimakariri District Council) asked Common Ground to pursue this as a separate project for the wider district.

  • Land Use Assessment
  • Urban Design
  • Masterplanning
  • Architectural Guidance
  • Landscape Frameworks
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Project Value:

$NZ 60M (2014)

Value of Services Provided:

$NZ 80,000

Added Value:

  • New models for clustered rural housing
  • Strategy for re-acquiring land
  • A framework for future development

The construction of a major seawall with lock controlled water-levels will create a permanent harbour.  This new Dampier Harbour will be a focal point for the Pearl Precinct and wider Town Centre regeneration.
The redevelopment of the existing Town Beach Reserve and surrounds as a major integrated waterfront park – Catalina Bay, creates a high quality public realm focussed on a sheltered and protected beach, significant natural restoration outcomes can be achieved that would otherwise be unaffordable.