Matthew Connolly Matthew Connolly

  • Kaiako / Lecturer
    Prof. Anthony Hoete
  • School
    University of Auckland

Taiaroa : The Food Bowl of the North

Recalling Te Waimate, the birthplace of horticulture

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi

With your food basket and my food basket, the people will thrive
Peter Gordon, ONZM, Head Chef - Homeland Restaurant

This design-led thesis explores how an architectural proposition can regenerate the decimated provincial landscape of Aotearoa, New Zealand. By drawing on indigenous and historical knowledge, architecture is considered as a tool in overturning the current over commercialised supermarket food consumption model.
A single multifaceted intervention adjacent to 200 hectares of Class A soil in Northland’s Te Waimate region acts as the antithesis to contemporary methods of food production, sale, and consumption in Northland. The scheme aims to reduce the steps between paddock and plate by selling seasonal produce from the land to sustain the growing local community of 15,000 and reduce the handling we see in commercial food production today.

The architectural proposition explores the idea of an alternative approach to sustainability. This utilises contemporary knowledge of organic and regenerative farming practices, while viewing food production and storage through a historic and indigenous lens. These alternative influences have cultivated a nuanced understanding of seasonal, landscape-sensitive production and land use, which has filtered through every aspect of the project.
In employing these hybrid ideas, architecture is used as a tool to create a positive social life, cleansing the way the surrounding Northland communities consume food. Ultimately, this results in a better understanding of how our land is used and valued, avoiding situations seen in Pukekohe. This thesis presents a visionary yet viable approach to the solution and is designed to maximise the possibilities within this topic beyond what is realistically possible in order to discover how food could be grown and consumed in the future.