Biodiversity can enhance urban wellbeing

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Participants in the sound workshop at Auckland’s Ōtara Library answer the question “What sound does a kererū make?”.

The Building Better Mauriora and Urban Wellbeing team were at Auckland’s Ōtara Library over the Easter school holidays presenting urban wellbeing research news, leading biodiversity activations, and discussing how a more biodiverse Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland could enhance urban wellbeing.

Te Mauri o te Kererū ko te Mauri o nga Tāngata

A wellbeing activation called Te Mauri o te Kererū ko te Mauri o nga Tāngata (The Wellbeing of the Kereru is the Wellbeing of People) brought together children’s art workshops with three works exploring how birds, trees, and human lives are connected together and interdependent. The workshops had three parts:

  • A sound workshop to create an acoustic landscape, E Kukū Te Kererū, led by Rachel Shearer. The participants created and edited together sounds generated during a sound workshop in the library. Participants were invited to talk to and about the kererū, guided by a series of exercises. One example is the question ‘What sounds does the kererū make?’ that invited the school-age participants to respond and generate sounds with simple props such as the rustling of leaves or the flapping of fabric.
  • A video-editing workshop to create a video work, Te Kererū raua te Kōura, led by Janine Randerson. School children were invited to work in pairs to edit together Janine’s video footage of a kererū and kōura (crayfish) that were videoed in the tributory to the Puhinui stream in Totara Park, Auckland. The presence of these animals reflects the mauri of this stretch of Auckland urban forest.
  • An installation work, Papa-ako-mauriora, led by Amanda Yates, set the context for the Puna Ora/living lab video and sound workshop. Mauiora is all-of-life wellbeing: inscribed text disclosed how our human lives and wellbeing are interlinked with the interconnected biodiverse life-systems of the planet.
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Date posted: 28 May 2019