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31 Mar 2019

Paying respect to ‘the tree of single importance’ #Community

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Westfield Newmarket’s stunning NZ$790 million development may be taking New Zealand customers into the future, but a poignant ode to the past will take pride of place on the exterior of the new living centre.

Westfield Newmarket is well over a decade in the making, which has seen Scentre Group developers work closely with Heritage New Zealand, the country’s leading national heritage agency and managers of Newmarket’s historic landmark, a gothic mansion built in 1862 called Highwic.


The collaboration has ensured Westfield Newmarket’s 78,000 sqm development, sitting on Highwic’s borders and visible from three sides of the property, works successfully in respect of each party’s needs. But the entrenched relationship has also allowed Scentre Group to gain a deeper understanding of Newmarket’s own cultural heritage and Māoritanga (Māori culture).

Te Ti Tūtahi was the Māori name given to Newmarket, meaning ‘the tree of single importance’. It refers to the cabbage tree which stood on the corner of Mortimer Pass and Broadway until 1908.

Many of the cabbage trees in the area are descended from this tree, after Highwic founder, Alfred Buckland, rescued and replanted trees around Newmarket, which the suburb is now famous for.

In recognition of this special place, Scentre Group engaged Māori designer, Peata Larkin, to pay homage to this sacred site with a façade design that will sit proudly above the place where the ‘tree of single importance’ once stood.

This is one of three designs by Larkin, that will honour local iwi1 and the history of Newmarket.
These artworks will not only bring new life to Newmarket’s heritage, they will allow Westfield Newmarket to once again lay its roots in the local landscape, allowing the new centre to resume its stronghold as the heart of Newmarket.


1The Māori-language word iwi means "people" or "nation", and is often translated as "tribe", or "a confederation of tribes".