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Thinking Whare

By May 20, 20114 Comments

One of the latest offerings from Maori television is arguably the most significant contribution to the discussion of Maori architecture, certainly adding to the recent burst of scholarship in the area: Deidre Brown’s 2009 Maori Architecture, and Richard Sundt’s 2010 Whare Karakia.

Whare Maori appears to be a comprehensive look at many aspects of Maori architecture.  The programme list certainly suggests this, with separate episodes on Ringatu architecture, two programmes on the Wharenui, and others on Whare Karakia, Ratana, Whare Wahine and John Scott.  In fact this series might be the first time NZ television has actually looked at the topic of women and architecture (Whare Wahine); a series breaking new grounds in many aspects of architecture.

The programme, having only screened its first two episodes, clearly has more to come, and I hope generates robust discussion about how architecture can be explored in the popular media (to be honest the formula of Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs probably has a limited shelf life).  I saw the first episode of Whare Maori (am yet to catch up on number two).  It struck me as not simply looking at building – the traditional haunt of television architecture, but also presenting the possibility of more layered and complex social relationships, compared to previously television programmes.  The episode was possibly more focussed more broadly on people and how architecture and space operates beyond building because of its topic (The Village) – but we will see.  I’m hoping that the programme is adventurous in its testing of architectural ideas, politics and building in episodes to come.

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  • m-d says:

    Good reminder – thanks. I really need to catch up on these episodes…

  • Red says:

    Can you get this in Australia? Does Maori TV have downladable content? This is the kind of thing that should definately cross the Tasman!

  • Guy says:

    Red! Nice to have your company here again – how is life in the West Island? You’ve raised a good question – one that really needs to be answered by Maori TV itself. I’d certainly be interested in a DVD copy, as I’ve missed most of them so far. Maori tv is fast becoming the only sign of life in the kiwi tv stratosphere…

  • m-d says:

    The first two episodes are available on the Maori Tv website, a link to this is provided in the original post above. Am waiting for the rest, but to no avail so far. perhaps those two are just a teaser?