12 Aug 2011

Designers call for greater Maori identity in Christchurch

7:09 am on 12 August 2011

A group of Maori designers says there is potential for Maori identity in Christchurch to move beyond artwork and carving in the rebuilt city.

A new draft plan for the city was unveiled on Thursday and will go out for public consultation from next Tuesday.

Nga Aho, a network of Maori designers, says the earthquake has created an opportunity for the local tribe to have a bigger influence in what the modern city looks like.

An architect with the group, Rau Hoskins, says it's important Ngai Tahu has a "range of living presences" in the new city beyond the artwork and the carved pou or whakairo.

He would like to see the iwi's identity reflected in the style and architecture of its own buildings, such a offices and social service centres.