r006tan_Tānewhirinaki, virtually stands.

Rebuilding Tānewhirinaki: A Digital Projection

The great whare Tānewhirinaki was built by the Ngātira chief Hira te Popo at Waioeka in 1874, to restore the iwi’s mana following the illegal land confiscations imposed after the killing of the German missionary Carl Völkner.  Tānewhirinaki became implicated in ominous prophesies by Te Kooti. This association and disturbing events on the marae led to the house’s acquisition of frightening tapu. One myth tells that the whare would not be standing after a kumekume a ruaumoko and so by the time of the 1931 Napier earthquake, Tānewhirinaki was no longer standing. Unable due to re-erected due to funding, the whare carvings have been in storage since that time. It is a travesty that such a significant part of Aotearoa NZ’s history lies in pieces.

In 2010 the School of Architecture began a collaborative project with the mana whenua Ngāti Ira o Te Whakatohea to look at reconstructing the whare. A 2014 lecture by Jeremy Treadwell and Yun Sung was the story of the first stage of the project; to reconstruct the house as a walk-through digital model (with Jordon Saunders) to provide this generation of the iwi with their first view into Tānewhirinaki. The animation was made with the blessings of the hāpu who lifted the associated tapu.

Jeremy Treadwell is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning. Jeremy is engaged in doctoral studies investigating the structure of the large 19th century Māori meeting houses. Yun Kong Sung graduated with a Master of Architecture (Professional) at the University of Auckland. His current work encompasses archaeology and conservation using 3D scanning, automation of prefabricated single living units, and building visualisation through augmented reality.


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