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JK: I liked what you said a bit earlier when you mentioned Ivan and the kind of relationships that he had with Māori communities, and they were very deep enduring relationships.
And what I was really encouraged by is when you also talked about how he was bringing young Māori practitioners through in this process. I think there's a lot to be said for Pākehā who have occupied and do occupy those spaces, and do it in such a way that they are breaking down barriers, and enabling those other people to step into those spaces.
I’m your host Jade Kake and this is Indigenous Urbanism, stories about the spaces we inhabit, and the community drivers and practitioners who are shaping those environments and decolonising through design. On my father's side I'm from up north, and a little bit south of here, so nō Ngāti Wai ahau, me Waikato-Tainui, and on my mother's side I am Samoan, Tokelauan, and English.
On this episode of Indigenous Urbanism, we speak with Elisapeta Heta nō Ngāti Wai, an architectural graduate working at Jasmax. So she's first generation New Zealander, whatever that means. I'm an architectural graduate at Jasmax, but I'm also part of a roopu here called Waka Maia.
But he had quite the legacy, effectively, with Māori communities, with Māori projects.
Even though he wasn't Māori himself, and had mentored Brendan Himona and sort of a little bit at the end there as well, Rameka Tu'inukuafe, who are both my colleagues in Waka Maia. Protesting against motorways being built in ridiculous places, and all sorts of things like that.
And I kind of want to, I often want to challenge them on that, saying well, you don't occupy that space as a matter of right, and what are you doing to bring Māori practitioners into this space. But, I do genuinely mean, where - who is being uplifted, truly? So I guess what I mean by that is, somebody like Ivan would be a really great example.Nothing's perfect, everybody, every group, every collective, every office, has things they can do better.I think that's what's been pretty amazing, personally from my point of view, is the willingness of this office to actually let us roam a little bit far, and then come back, and sort of genuinely start to initiate and embed a lot of the things that we thought were important from a te ao Māori point of view into business as usual at this practice.Jasmax I think, sort of had a cultural capacity, shall we say. It had a bit of - when I sort of found out the history of why Jasmad began, little bit of a radical sort of beginnings, and wanting to make the city a better place. So, I think Jasmax just had, there was an inbuilt sort of sense for me, from the outside looking in, that it was something I could get in on.
It's hard, I think, to build cultural capacity from scratch.JK: And so you find yourself in a really large firm, being one of a few Māori practitioners.