This Phase Two Mauri Ora & Urban Wellbeing project builds on a Phase One Mauri Ora & Urban Wellbeing project which produced a holistic socio-cultural-ecological wellbeing model, and concepts for a wellbeing ‘compass’ tool for wellbeing-led urban planning and development, and a data index and display tool to visualise complex and connected urban wellbeing factors and enable targeted wellbeing action.

A holistic wellbeing framework – the mauri mesh model

This Kāinga-Ora Urban Wellbeing research is organised around a “mauri mesh model” of urban wellbeing which weaves together the social, cultural and ecological as a connected urban whole. The integrity or wellbeing of this inter-woven urban fabric depends upon careful future-focused urban governance and transformative action. The model emphasises four key transitions, in energy, ecology, and economic systems, all embedded into urban infrastructures and systems. As a hyper-connected living-systems network the mauri mesh model is both global and local in scale.

At the global scale we focus on five planetary wellbeing ‘boundaries’ that we determine have already been breached, and which therefore signal the urgency of urban transformation for local and global wellbeing. These are RANGI-MATE, a breached heat boundary; WAI-MATE, a breached water cycle (floods, droughts) and sea-level rise boundary; MAURI-MATE, a breached eco-diversity boundary (mass extinction); MAURI-MATE, a breached eco-integrity boundary (pollution); HAPORI-MATE, a breached community wellbeing boundary, at this time of widespread affordability and access crises (in housing, energy, water, health).

At a local urban scale six areas of wellbeing focus are identified: HIHIRI-ORA carbon zero energy systems; WHENUA-ORA & WAI-ORA regenerative ecological infrastructures; ŌHANGA-ORA circular bio-economy systems; WAKA-ORA mobility & access systems; KĀINGA-ORA living carbon-zero, built infrastructures; HAPORI-ORA connected communities. Each area has a range of associated indices (data tool) or actions (development tool).

Mauri Ora Holistic Wellbeing place-based co-created tools from a kit of parts

This Phase Two Mauri Ora & Urban Wellbeing project involves developing a methodology for co-creating place-based urban wellbeing tools formed with community partners from a curated kit of parts.

This research focuses on the co-design of place-based governance relationships, practices and tools to activate socio-ecological wellbeing in urban systems. At this initial stage we are working in Rotorua and Christchurch (see the Huritanga Otautahi workstream report also).

Our Rotorua based partner, Te Tatau o Te Arawa is a foundational research partner. Te Tatau is a Council linked, pan-Iwi governance group working to achieve Te Arawa’s 2050 Vision for mauri ora holistic wellbeing across its rohe (region). Huritanga and Te Tatau share a focus on mauri ora holistic wellbeing and aspirations for impact. Te Tatau’s governance and development platform enables impact for this Huritanga programme on the ground.

Key research activities include the co-creation of a holistic wellbeing data tool that assesses current wellbeing; and a holistic urban/neighbourhood/housing wellbeing compass that acts as a scaffold for improving urban planning, analysis, and actions. An AUT postgraduate lab will, in 2021, work with the Te Tatau wellbeing compass as a tool to develop speculative housing developments on a Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands site at the eastern edge of Rotorua. More widely, we intend that this holistic wellbeing-oriented research be scaled out to enable collaborations with other urban communities, in ways that meet their specific needs and cultures. Overall, this research aims to provide transformative tools and strategies for local communities and government: critically these tools bring cultural change as they establish holistic wellbeing as the definitive focus for urbanism in Aotearoa in this era of socio-cultural-ecological emergency. We intend that this research and associated impacts contributes to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi as it enables the voice and agency of Maori communities in their rohe (regions) and more broadly at this critical time.

This project is concerned with creating a Community Economy Return on Investment methodology and tool with two core case studies:

  1. urban composting initiatives in Wellington and Christchurch, and
  2. Life in Vacant Spaces (LIVS) property/commons management and matchmaking services for wellbeing projects in Christchurch’s still vacant redzone and central city sites.

We are collaborating with co-creation partners who already have established work in MAURI.

Rotorua and Otautahi we then aim to work with a wider range of organisations to co-create further place-based urban wellbeing transformation or action tools as part of a larger scaling out of the research. Together with the mauri mesh model, which identifies strategic approaches to urban wellbeing, and the compass and data tools we aim to have a kit of parts that organisations can use to put together organisation specific transformative tool kits for urban wellbeing. We expect that this tool kete can be of use at a range of urban scales, from the scale of a house, or a community or neighbourhood, to local government, and then to government.

Contact email: Amanda Yates

Dr Andrew Burgess (AUT)
Dr Rita Dionisio (Canterbury)
Dr Rebecca Jarvis (AUT)
Professor Angus Macfarlane (Canterbury)
Dr John Reid (Canterbury)
Grace Walker (Otago, Canterbury, PhD candidate)
Dr Jay Whitehead (Matatihi)
Associate Professor Amanda Monehu Yates (AUT)