Our strength lies in our ability to facilitate authentic relationships between manawhenua and our partners.
We are based in Otago, and work with partner organisations across the region to provide art and design services for large-scale development projects. We can also facilitate cultural workshops to help your team gain further insights and a deeper understanding about engaging with local rūnaka.
Our work is underpinned by our strong working relationship with a panel of manawhenua representatives that provides their insight, knowledge and input into the work that we do.
“The purpose of our team is to facilitate authentic relationships between manawhenua and our partners, so our services rely on manawhenua being engaged throughout the whole process.”
Caron Solomon-Ward General Manager, Mana Ahurea
Ā mātou ratoka Our Services
Kā rika toi o Kāi Tahu
Cultural design integration
Early engagement and consultation with manawhenua is a vital part of any project across the Otago region. Our team can facilitate engagement with manawhenua in the early stages of a design process.
We work with local government and government agencies who are seeking input from manawhenua in their role as treaty partners. We also partner with private organisations to capture and embed Kāi Tahu identity into large-scale development projects, and to incorporate elements that reflect manawhenua values through the human interaction of places and spaces.
Our work provides a unique opportunity for Kāi Tahu artists to use their talent to create identifiable markers of cultural identity in the public domain.
Mana Ahurea has worked with well-known Kāi Tahu artists such as Ross Hemera, Fayne Robinson, Kirsten Parkinson and our very own lead designer Simon Kaan.
“I work with design teams, I work with architects, and planners to make sure that manawhenua aspirations are embedded with the landscapes, within the buildings.”
Simon Kaan – lead designer, Mana Ahurea
Kā waha kōrero o Kāi Tahu
We can facilitate engagement with manawhenua to help weave a cultural narrative through a project. We have a strong relationship with a panel of manawhenua representatives whose regional knowledge and expertise is an integral part of developing a project story.
A narrative might include references to traditional names and their meanings, the historical use of the site for mahika kai, occupation, or as the location of a significant event and brings together stories of the past and present, and look ahead to the future.
With the support of manawhenua, we are committed to to seeing Kāi Tahu values and narratives authentically represented across the region. Central to what we do is our hope that future generations of Kāi Tahu will see themselves reflected in the world they live in, or come home to.
“When my boy was young, he was an inquisitive child and we’d go into Ōtepoti and he’d see the statue of Robbie Burns in the Octagon and say ‘who is he and why is he here? Where are my tūpuna in this city?’ That put a fire in my belly, and I knew that we needed to reinstate ourselves – our stories, our narratives, our design – so that our children can see a reflection of themselves and their tūpuna.”
Megan Pōtiki, Te Rūnaka o Ōtākou
We work with local language specialists, to undertake translations to and from te reo Māori, as well as to write original text. Our translations can be provided in Māori orthographic convention or Kāi Tahu dialect.
All translations are peer reviewed to maintain our high-quality standards.
We can assist with a wide range of translations including academic and historical text, government and organisational requirements, including signage and material for publishing.
Kā mātāpono Our Values
We act with integrity, responsibility, and authority, reflective of the mana and rakatirataka of the manawhenua we work on behalf of.
We are inclusive and cooperative: with rūnaka, whānau, kaimahi stakeholders, partners and clients.
We work to build the capacity of ourselves and of our rūnaka, whānau, and hapū. We are supportive of our partners, clients, and stakeholders.
We work collaboratively to maximise our collective strengths and achieve hapū aspirations. This occurs across all of our pou; with our board, manawhenua panels, rūnaka and whānau; and with our partners, stakeholders and clients.
We are responsive and communicative, and actively value and work to increase the knowledge systems within which we work.
We are innovative in our work, finding new ways to test our thinking, develop new ideas, generating new knowledge, and ways of operating.
We operate with prudence and with awareness of the wider implications of our actions within financial, social, cultural, and environmental contexts.