Tosh Graham



The ambitious and polemic nature of this design resulted from the use of Māori prophecy as a driver. The historical narrative derived from the two chosen prophecies was then developed into a set of design moves to create five monuments that honor the pre and post-colonial history of Auckland and its people. The locations of the monuments have significant relevance to the prophecies and it is projected that the monuments will build recognition of the significance of these sites.

For Māori, knowing your whakapapa is essential to your identity since it expresses who you are. By giving recognition to Auckland’s historical past and the whakapapa of the city, a point of reference emerges that will define the city. This enables the city to move forward with a clearer vision of the future.  To use the words of the legendary musical prophet Bob Marley, “in this great future, you can’t forget your past … [because] if you know your history, then you would know where you’re coming from”.  While it is admirable to have aspirations of making Auckland the ‘world’s most livable city’, we should not lose sight of what we are living for and how we can achieve that. The proposed concept could result in Auckland City becoming more livable through intangibles such as pride and ownership.  Therefore, the uniqueness of this project comes about due to the process used, which investigated indigenous prophecy as a means of analysing sites to generate designs imbued with respect and acknowledgment of Auckland’s cultural history.

These monuments would create a point of difference that defines the city and New Zealand’s identity would be expressed to the world through these iconic structures, lifting and promoting the idea of cultural awareness, cooperation and unity.