Tikanga Ahikaa

Tikanga Ahikaa

“I take my role as a kaitiaki (guardian) of  my culture and natural environment – very seriously.  I acknowledge the sacrifices of my tupuna/ancestors and want to be a good descendent.” ~ Rueben

“Back in my great-grandparents time we all helped each other to build homes.” – Heeni

Taking a holistic approach to project management for us, means considering:

    • The history and previous use of the land.
    • Seeking kaumātua advice on the positioning of a new whare.
    • Location of family urupā/burial or other sites of significance.
    • Always utilising resources with knowledge, respect and responsibility.
    • Choose a site that is secure, sheltered and safe from possible floods but close to a water source.
    • Koha ~ Give back to everyone who has helped along the way.
    • Share knowledge.
    • We follow the Maramataka – the Māori lunar calendar.

“While building a house, we maximise output on optimum days.  Just as importantly, when it was best to rest and not stress if things weren’t running smoothly.” – Rueben

pre-order the 2017-2018 Maramataka Wall Planner* from our online store or contact us


Living on Māori Land

Living on Māori Land

“Toitu te whenua, whatungarongaro nga tangata. “ – whakatauaki

Love of the land than has seen Heeni and Rueben undertake development of a Papa Kāinga that will consist of 3 homes and a communal building – all featuring Rammed Earth walls.

Building homes from Earth, Sand, Muka and other resources harvested responsibily from ancestral land has a deep spiritual resonance.

“Whenua is very important to us physically, spiritually and culturally. It has sustained my whānau and hapū for over 20 generations. It is our responsibility to nurture that connection within the next generation.” – Rueben

Many whānau have natural resources and family members with the right skills to help undertake a Whare Uku project. When both are given and utilised with respect things can – and do get done.

Understanding how to live together again in a Papa Kāinga model on Tupuna Whenua is of importance. AKT are researching this model with the potential to address Māori housing.

“the goal is to create a model that could be used for good-quality housing“

Working with the Processes

Working with the Processes

We can assist families with obtaining resource and building consent.

According to the Northland Age, over 100,000 hectares of Maori land in the Far North district is unoccupied. Some should be used for housing projects. We acknowledge that working with council’s can be a challenge.

With Māori land there are hidden obstacles and you have to deal with council and engineers in order to get land occupation.

There is a confirmed disparity between councils. Western Bays authority is an example of how a council and Maori land owners work together in a highly co-operative way.

We have worked closely with the FNDC to have Rammed Earth approved as a legitimate building material, documenting the process along the way. All of our buildings are approved.

Building consents require a geotechnical report from a drainlayer that can cost in excess of $2000.  Rueben suggests there is an opportunity for rūnanga to assist individuals to enter relevant professions.

Once they have qualified, the rūnanga could subsidise the reports for their whanau.

The same opportunities are there for surveying and the waste system consultants.



“The whenua is very important to us physically, spiritually and culturally. It has sustained my whānau and hapū for over 20 generations and it is our responsibility to nurture that connection within our next generation.”

Rueben has plans for widespread horticulture below their Whare Uku. Including Peruperu. A Māori potatoe that has seen him travel internationally to share his knowledge.

“We had the opportunity to visit Samoa and saw how they treasure the land. They were working it every day – their hands are in the soil and the land is feeding their families. It was wonderful to see. A lot of Māori have lost that connection with their land.” – Rueben

More information about gardening practises will be covered on our blog

“Māori have always been judged on the ability to provide for manuhiri, so access to sustainable wealth is inextricably linked to enduring Mana.” – Heeni