Matemateāone – A Journey Beyond ‘Māori’ Architecture: Exploring a Te Māhurehure (Hapū) Approach to Architecture through Whakapapa

Ruckes, Amber Anahera

Ngā Pūtahitanga / Crossings: A Joint Conference of SAHANZ and the Australasian UHPH Group

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George Wēpiha Melbourne was one of the last Tūhoe (tribal iwi) whare tūpuna (ancestral house) architects. His works included: Kura Mihi Rangi, a wharepuni at Te Rewarewa Marae in Rūātoki, and Hiona (also known as Te Whare Kawana) at Maungapohatu, one of the most recognisable buildings in ‘Māori’ architecture.

At present, there is no comprehensive analysis of a hapū architecture. George Wēpiha Melbourne is of Te Māhurehure hapū, making his work a significant starting point in the study of architecture rooted in a hapū-specific context.

To explore the events that likely influenced George Melbourne’s works, this paper investigates a Tūhoe and Te Māhurehure history through the socio-relational and geographic lens of a selected George Wēpiha Melbourne whakapapa line. From this position of shared identity, elements of a hapū-focused architecture will be stipulated, thereby allowing for the works of George Wēpiha Melbourne to be studied and presented accordingly in this paper.