Support for New Zealand’s Birthplace

The Bay of Islands holds a special place in the folklore of our country thanks to its role in providing the backdrop for the nation’s founding. Today it’s still a great showcase of our story, both past and present.

With key properties in the heart of Paihia, Urban Partners has played an important role in helping the tourist hotspot continue its appeal for visitors to the area. That standing, alongside some of the company’s larger-scale projects in Auckland and other regions, led the Waitangi National Trust to approach the firm for help in devising a plan outlining how its sizeable land holdings might be utilised in future years.

The Trust is responsible for the Treaty grounds and also the extensive surrounding farmlands and forests. With this expansive land holding came an array of possible uses including hospitality, cultural, educational and sports and recreation.

Urban Partners CEO Rob Marshall believes these proposed land uses highlight the potential to provide both a wide range of services and opportunities for the region and that is something the company wanted to address in the plan.

“With the assistance of the Trust and Urban Designers, Reset Urban, we produced a concept plan that investigated land-use planning options and possible commercial activities that could occur on the land.”

“The historical and cultural importance of the site was a critical factor in the development of the plan,” says Marshall.

“We wanted a plan that both respected and enhanced the area, whilst providing information to assist with the planning and development of appropriate commercial activities in the future.”

Part of that promise of respect was seen in the focus not only on commercial viability but also environmental sustainability, with native regeneration and the retiring of gullies to help protect natural values.

Waitangi National Trust now has a comprehensive land use plan which will act as a management tool to assist them with future commercial and environmental development activities.