“House of Ferns”

A proposed central park and heart to Paraparaumu and Kāpiti.

Incorporating Whale Song, a Wharenui/Cultural Centre and

the Wharemauku Stream Forest Nursery restoration project.


The Wharemauku, “House of Ferns” vision is very much focussed on our cultural connections, with all the park encompasses being interwoven with rangi, wai, whenua, tipu and kararehe. From this place, we will tell the Kāpiti story!


Looking back to the past, understanding the past and then building on the ever evolving story of Kāpiti’s future, will be a key factor in establishing a much more resilient, involved, connected, compassionate and creatively inspired Kāpiti community.

Our Whāinga

The objectives and outcomes of this vision are as follows:


  • Whale Song – a sculpture of 7 humpback whales in full size cast in aluminium, reflecting Maori and Kāpiti’s cultural connection to whales, Kāpiti’s whaling past and its early connection to the beginnings of colonisation of New Zealand.


  • The proposed Cultural Centre / Wharenui situated within Wharemauku expresses the unique relationship of mana whenua to their ancestral lands and awa, and in particular that of  Puketapu Hapū ki Paraparaumu (Te Ātiawa).


  • The Cultural Centre will provide wānanga or learning opportunities for whānau as well as access for the community to build relationship with tangata whenua and participate in Kaitiakitanga of our natural environment.  Wharemauku supports `Whakarongotai o te moana, Whakarongotai o te wā’  - Kaitiakitanga Plan for Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai.


  • Wharemauku will provide a heart, a sense of place and central identity for Kāpiti.


  • Creating a significant number of jobs through building infrastructure that will then support commercial development of bulk retail, office parks and light industrial planned on over 80 acres of unused prime land, including 20 acres owned by iwi.


  • Wharemauku, with the realisation of the surrounding land for development, will attract business to invest in the area as an exciting place for their staff to live work and play.


  • Raising awareness of conservation needed to preserve the marine environment.


  • Curriculum that will enable the teaching of Kāpiti’s cultural history and significance in the beginnings of a colonised New Zealand, along with the many stories within this journey in time,  for future generations.


  • Key also is supporting and implementing local iwi objectives in the restoration of this stream and adjacent land, which include;

    • Water supports the healthy wairua of the people. It is clean, calm, safe, with life and conflict free.

    • The presence of native flora and fauna can be observed and heard in the waterscapes.

    • The community having good self-esteem about the state of local waterways.

Our Tikanga

To use the best practices, actions, policies, work approaches, guidance, rules and programmes to achieve these outcomes.


Our Kaupapa

The values that we place on achieving these outcomes.

These include;

To create a place that reflect’s our past and tells the Kāpiti story.


To create places that are good for the wairua that are protected and maintained. This includes both those that provide solace and serenity, as well as those that support sport and recreation.


Creating a place where performances and gatherings are held in which people can share in experiences that build wellbeing, connection and confidence in our community.


Restoring Te Ao Tūroa, the natural order, balance and pattern that is fundamental to the world we live in. The wetlands of the district are especially important to iwi, being seen originally as a place to live that could be sustained and nourished. Healthy wetlands support a range of mahinga kai and are proven to provide important ecological processes in the district’s waterways. Water passing through healthy wetlands is filtered and cleansed before reaching the sea as sediment drops out with the organisms living in these wetlands remediating contaminants these sediments carry.


Supporting our community to maintain and restore their relationship to the whenua me te moana (land and sea), thus improving awareness that all water is one, from the mountains to the sea. Better understanding will lead to better care of this precious and critical part of our natural world and its inhabitants, such as whales.

Key Features of Project

  • Infrastructure - Providing services (3 waters) to over 80 acres of bare land, including 20 acres of unused iwi land, for commercial development - expected 200 jobs for construction, up to 1,000 jobs as a result of completion of the commercial development of surrounding land (office parks, retail and light industry).

  • Playground – part of the KCDC Town Centre Plan already.

  • Wharenui – A place to immerse oneself in the Kāpiti’s story, a meeting place, performance space/cultural centre for Iwi. Thinking cohesively this new cultural centre could integrate some aspects with the proposed rebuild of the nearby Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre.

  • Forest nursery - showcase and educate around native plants, propogation, medicinal uses, food and as a resource (harakeke/weaving, carving, etc).

  • Outdoor entertainment and performance spaces.

  • Whale sculpture (7 full size bronze humpback whales on a one acre site) - Conservation awareness, curriculum resources, tourist attraction, community hub, place of contemplation, and creative stimulation.

  • Creation of a new heart for Paraparaumu and a central park for Kāpiti. Much like Central Park in New York, Hyde Park in London, central parks are an essential part of a successful city and the wellbeing of their communities.