Using Māori culture and urban design to reimagine Aotearoa's past, present and future

Idealog + Isthmus

Using Māori culture and urban design to reimagine Aotearoa's past, present and future

Our social, political, and economic consciousness is shifting as a nation. As we begin to understand and embrace what being Māori can say about Aotearoa, our conversation as designers turns to the land and to the built environment. How do we brand our face to the world, yet remain true and authentic to a history and knowledge that runs deep beneath the pavement of our roads and cities, emerging only sporadically in our built environment as glimpses of another past? As Isthmus’ Damian Powley discovers, these deep narratives have as much to say about what once was, as they do about our collective identity now in 2019, like holding a mirror up to catch a glimpse of where we may be heading.

Idealog + The Common

As an Entrepreneur, Business Owner or Business Leader, have you ever felt like you’re doing it all alone? With the struggle of balancing your workload, your team, feeling overwhelmed, constantly fighting fires, trying to get a good nights sleep, finding time for yourself & your mental & physical wellbeing, trying to find time to spend with your significant other, your family, your friends… It’s bound to feel a bit lonely at the top.

ATEED + Idealog

Creativity is the fastest growing skill in the workplace. In a world fraught with environmental, economic and social challenges, few could doubt the importance of creative solutions. So, how can Auckland best support the growth of our creative industries? One integral player will be Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), which works collaboratively with central and local government, education providers, businesses and communities to foster the success of creative industries. We sit down with its general manager of economic development Pam Ford and a local business, inMusic, which is reshaping the New Zealand music scene.

Elevator pitch

We gave Melissa Firth a little longer than an elevator ride to pitch Again Again, a sustainable coffee cups on-demand system which has recently been introduced in Auckland, following its Wellington launch. Here, Firth talks about how the social enterprise is improving the way we go about reducing waste, while still maintaining our high coffee intake.

Safer cities

Auckland is in the midst of a metamorphosis. The city is standing on the same precipice as many other cities around the world, where it’s considering how to balance social, economic, and environmental welfare alongside a growing population set to reach 2.4 million by 2050. It presents a huge challenge for local urbanists, who are tasked with building a livable city without resorting to untenable sprawl or futile slums. However, there is light streaming onto Auckland’s urban posterity. New forms of density are being erected, diverse transport modes are mobbing the streets, and a new culture is running through the currents of the Waitematā. But, are Auckland’s past pains too broken to remedy? Findlay Buchanan talks to the architects, the planners, and the urban progressives, who are helping to reshape Auckland city.


Hila Oren is the CEO of the Tel Aviv and founder of Tel Aviv Global. At the age of 25, she was hired by the city’s mayor to come up with a story, or brand, for Tel Aviv. Now, Tel Aviv is globally recognised as a hotbed of innovation, while Oren is world-renown for her work in elevating the city to be recognised globally for its start-up culture. On a recent trip to Auckland, she discussed how to pinpoint the key qualities of a city’s identity, how New Zealand’s cities can become better recognised on the world stage, and more.

Simple living

Brooke and Elise Ratima are the co-founders and twins behind Sunna Studios, a new children’s clothing line is all-natural, ethical and organic, and hand dyed in their rural Auckland backyard studio using natural dyes sourced from plants. The aesthetic it captures is one of simplicity, slow living and beautiful pieces that will last the test of time. Here, they talk about their vision for a more conscious consumer-led world.

StopPress Presents

In what has become a yearly tradition, marketing and advertising news site StopPress is presenting its rundown of the big pitches, the big ideas, the big balls, the big stoushes, the big moves and the big whoopsies. You can vote for your favourites ahead of the Stoppies Event on 14 February over on their site here, or read on to find how to nab yourself some tickets.