Moerā; nestled in a landscape steeped in cultural heritage

 banner image

Published: 12 March 2024

We are proud to announce the Moerā Neighbourhood Hub Cultural Narrative as gifted from Mana Whenua.

Having a Cultural Narrative when producing a new building, informs the project design vision based on Mana Whenua landmarks and history. This will provide crucial insight when developing a functioning, community-based Neighbourhood Hub.

Moerā holds a significant place between the embrace of a major mahinga kai (cultivation field) area known as Te Umumamaku and the historic battleground of Pū-harakeke-tapu (Hutt Park, where the Pelorus Trust Sports House is situated). Tracing a visual connection across the river to the west, you encounter the remnants of another storied conflict that took place on the whenua known as Paetūtū and Paekākā, murmuring the echoes of battles long gone.

Within its geographical bounds, Moerā stands as a testament to the strategic wisdom of its ancestral planners. Purposely situated near the meeting point of Te Awa Kairangi river and Te Awamutu and Waiwhetū streams – essential routes in a maritime trade network that transported goods toward Te Ngaengae (Naenae).

The importance of the history of Moerā resonates through time, imprinting its mana into the stories of Te Āti Awa and the diverse tapestry of hapū and iwi that have discovered solace and settlement here over the eras. This tapestry now weaves the fabric of the present Moerā, where cultures mix and coexist. The community is a vibrant symphony of Māori and a harmonious blend of other ethnicities, creating a united community rich in diversity.

Its these unique historical and environmental aspects of the site (past and present), that will be acknowledged, highlighted, and enhanced in design outcomes.

Late last year, the Hutt City Council Moerā Project Team was involved in a spatial analysis workshop with Design Group Stapleton Elliott (DGSE) - architectural partners on this project.  The importance of the Cultural Narrative and community feedback was explored and by brainstorming together it became apparent how the new neighbourhood hub needs to respond to the community whilst also paying respect to the gifted narrative. This saw an amazing collaboration of knowledge, skill and passion which will funnel into the design proposals.

From here, the Hutt City Council Moerā Project Team and DGSE will further define the scope and vision of the project based on the workshop findings and be able to produce initial concepts of the build.

To follow along on the project journey, visit