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Co-presented with Race Forward

Ngāi Tūhoe, one of New Zealand’s Māori tribes, initiated a landmark architectural undertaking. In 2014, Ngāi Tūhoe completed construction on Te Uru Taumatua based on the standards of The Living Building Challenge. Ever the Land explores: the relationship between people and their land; the implementation of a broader community vision; and sustainability solutions that center equity. 

A panel will revisit Ngāi Tūhoe’s accomplishments for this project; explore how the development project and the film are resetting conversations about sustainability; and surface key lessons from spatial planning that attempts to balance the needs of community development and cultural development.

Observing the planning and construction of New Zealand’s first ‘living building’, Te Wharehou o Tūhoe, Sarah Grohnert draws on images of incredible beauty to portray the profound connection between Ngāi Tūhoe and the land. Made under strict sustainability certification as part of the internationally recognised Living Building Challenge, Te Wharehou o Tūhoe is both a mammoth undertaking to watch unfold and a potent symbol of the Ngāi Tūhoe philosophy. Framed against ongoing negotiations with the Government, which culminated in the Crown’s historic apology and settlement, Grohnert’s film extols the resolute spirit of a people wounded by shameful acts of injustice, but doggedly persistent in preserving the integrity of land, culture and community. With an astute, finely tuned sensibility for people and practices, EVER THE LAND offers intimate access to the build of this landmark project, whilst evoking the profound principles it represents with a supple grace.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    91 minutes
  • Country
    New Zealand
  • Director
    Sarah Grohnert