St Peter’s School (Cambridge) and Chartwell Developments LP, own land that has been identified for the future urban expansion of Cambridge. This land shares its southern boundary with the Waikato River, which for Ngāti Korokī Kahukura and Ngāti Hauā (as mana whenua) is of immense cultural significance. Furthermore, the banks of the awa are rich in pre-European history as Māori established, pā, garden sites and other structures on the fertile river terraces.
Both St Peter’s School and Chartwell were keen from the outset to work with Ngāti Korokī Kahukura and Ngāti Hauā to better understand the cultural significance of the land and how that could be reflected upon and respected within their own development aspirations. For Ngāti Korokī Kahukura and Ngāti Hauā this presented an opportunity through partnering with St Peter’s School and Chartwell to reconnect with land previously confiscated from them 150 years ago.
In recognising the benefits that a partnership approach would bring for all parties, Crestani facilitated the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU sets out the principles for engagement, the role of kaitiaki, approach to archaeological discoveries, landscaping and stormwater management.
The MoU has become the blueprint for engaging with Mana Whenua, regularly referred to by all parties. It is not just through the preparation of the MoU, but the relationship that has been founded that will ultimately connect all parties, and ensure that relationship remains strong into the future.