Report by NewsroomPlus.com
Last week’s showing of ‘Ever the Land’, at Lighthouse Cinema in Wellington, delivered a fantastic insight into the struggles and triumphs experienced as part of the Living Building Challenge in action here in New Zealand.
The documentary tells the story of the Tuhoe tribe in Te Urewera and the cultural impact they had on the construction of the ‘Living Building’ – a completely sustainable community centre based in the Urewera region for the people of Tuhoe.
The shooting of the film cleverly combined the essence of Tuhoe’s cultural ties to the land with the importance of the ‘Living Building’ concept.
‘Ever the Land’ is a particularly good snapshot of Tuhoe and the wairua of that iwi. Their close spiritual connection to the land is embodied in this documentary and reflected in many of the Tuhoe members’ involvement in the building of the eco-friendly community centre.
The building itself was a clever construction which took an abstract approach to modern building discourse. The architects and suppliers had to look outside of the box to ensure they kept within the guidelines of the ‘Living Building Challenge’ requirements. This not only addressed the sustainable conditions of the project, but it also sat well with Tuhoe ideals surrounding the land as a taonga (treasure).
As a bit of a history buff I personally enjoyed the coverage of past injustices being addressed and how settlements and agreements have been made to right these wrongs. As New Zealanders we should be aware of our history and this documentary gave a good steer into that.