“This is our place, where people weave cultures and knowledge with whakaaro nui and pride.”
In 2009, local stakeholders submitted a proposal to the Horowhenua District Council for a multi-purpose museum facility that would ‘weave together’ Foxton’s historic Māori and Dutch cultures and celebrate each community’s role in the town’s unique heritage.
The Council engaged Boffa Miskell’s landscape architects and urban planners to evaluate site options. The Foxton Town Plan was created 2010, which integrated Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom with wider town improvements including a Main Street upgrade. The site was selected because it was adjacent to the existing Dutch deMolen Windmill —a full-size working replica of a 17th century Dutch windmill — the Flax Stripper Museum and Whare Manaaki.
Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom now houses a Māori cultural heritage centre, a national Dutch museum and Foxton’s library and council services. Together, these features form an exciting new tourist attraction and a destination for the residents of Foxton and the surrounding area. The complex has been developed within the shell of an existing building, innovatively redesigned by
The surrounding open spaces complement and connect with the adjacent attractions and includes a designated outdoor flax drying area, a performance stage, a plaza and lawn for gatherings and pop up events, as well as providing connections from the redeveloped River Loop and historic river port to the main street.
It was important to the local community that the landscape is physically representative of flax and weaving as a concept. Boffa Miskell’s landscape architects created opportunities for the land to be a symbolic representation of weaving through the selection and planting of native and exotic species.
Native species are linked to the ecological district and plant community. The use of flax weaving cultivars, a selection of species found in the district, and the inclusion of European species demonstrates an expression of the sites natural and cultural context.
Native species are used in rain gardens and a new herb garden replaces the historical herb garden associated with the long-standing Dutch Oven cafe. The exotic species have been chosen in colour palettes to provide contrast to native species, highlight weaving patterns, provide seasonal change, colour, wind and seed head effect. Plants with attractive spent seed heads and foliage (including Cyperus, Euphorbia, Salvias, Lavandula and several herbs) have been selected for seasonal interest. Boffa Miskell sponsored the specimen trees, which reflect aspirations of the Town Plan, Māori and Dutch historical associations and site-specific conditions.
Due to the site’s proximity to the Manawatu River Loop and Ramsar site, stormwater is managed and treated through on-site rain gardens and large areas of turf lawns.
The Main Street upgrade and the Te Awahou – Nieuwe Stroom project are amongst a series of long-term community planning and revitalisation initiatives, led by the Horowhenua District Council, and aimed at transforming Foxton into a regional tourist centre. Boffa Miskell has assisted with developing the Foxton Town Plan and advice on River Loop ecological and recreational improvements.
Boffa Miskell worked with the project team and Council to scope, design and deliver the project on the ground.
|Client||Horowhenua District Council|
|Project team||Brad Dobson|
Caldow Builders – Contractor
Bossley Architects – Architect
Opus – Engineering
Workshop E – Exhibition
Lilly Friedrick – Visitor Experience
Nicki Moen – Library Advisor
Fel. Group – Furniture + Art
Caldow Builders and Riverside Precast – Walls and Seats
Mark Herring Lighting – Lighting
Horizons International – Paving
Allied Concrete – Concrete
Horowhenua Recreation Services – Planting
Reweti Akarere – Art: Karanga Mai
Leon van den Eijkel and Jan Ramp – Pou Artists
Natalie MacDonald – Pou Artist
Piri-Hira Tukapua – Pou Artist
Ivan Ngarotata – Pou Artist