Westfield Newmarket’s stunning NZ$790 million development may be taking New Zealand customers into the future, but a poignant ode to the past expresses pride of place on the exterior of the shopping centre. Te Ti Tūtahi is 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 it was rescued and numerous seeds from it were replanted around Newmarket, which the suburb is now famous for.
In recognition of this special place, the developer Scentre Group engaged Māori artist Peata Larkin to pay homage to this sacred site with a façade design that sits proudly above the place where the original tree once stood. This is one of three designs on the site by Larkin, that honour the local First Nations people and the history of Newmarket with basket-weaving motifs. These artworks not only bring new life to Newmarket’s heritage, they allow Westfield Newmarket to once again lay its roots in the local landscape.
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