WHAT architecture - London

Motiti Masterplan

Motiti Island in 2020
Scale6800000 sqm
LocationNew Zealand
ClientPatuwai O Motiti
Design Year2012

Motiti Island is a small rural island located in the Bay of Plenty, 10 kilometres from the coast of New Zealand. The 68 hectare island has approximately 25 inhabitants and lacks infrastructure such as electricity, sewerage, roads, shops... The distance of the island from the mainland has historically insulated island life from many of the trappings of contemporary western culture. Yet this is no paradise. For example whilst land ownership is split approximately equally between Maori and European, there are 100x more persons with a interest in the maori land (around 700 shareholders) than the european land (approximately 7 owners). Living on the island is becoming increasingly non-sustainable and so the recent Rena shipping disaster may provide a catalyst to transform the island from its gloomy predicament as a cemetery to a place which offers economic, environmental and social well being.

WHAT_architecture is currently working with the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust in preparing a holitic Master Plan for the island which unites syncretically maori and pakeha aspirations for the island. In doing so WHAT_architecture asks the island's community: "what kind of island do you want Motiti want to become?