Mātanga Kaiwhakatauira



    ‘ĀKAU Mātanga Kaiwhakatauira’ is an opportunity for an established Designer or Architect to contribute to the ĀKAU kaupapa while learning new skills and mātauranga to fill up their kete and creative practice.

    Full or part-time. 1-year contract option available initially. Preferably based in the Kaikohe office but could discuss options of being based at remote office, with approximately a quarter of the time, in Kaikohe, Te Taitokerau. Renumeration subject to experience. Start ASAP.

    ĀKAU strives to empower taitamariki around Aotearoa to become connected, creative learners. We help taitamariki recognize and harness the creativity of their tupuna by involving them in tangible projects that have real impact for taitamariki, their whānau and their community.


    This role is for an experienced designer or architect to help develop community design projects alongside the ĀKAU team and taitamariki that we engage with. The successful person will have a high-level of design conceptualisation and the ability to deliver a variety of projects through to a completed tangible outcome. Within this role the successful person will also be required to tautoko and upskill less experienced members of the team, as well as contribute the ĀKAU kaupapa as required.


    We engage taitamariki in the design of our projects so as a designer you will need to be passionate about developing taitamariki concepts through to completion. We see this as a mutually beneficial process where we learn from each other for the benefit of the kaupapa! Other design objectives include:

    • Project Manage a range of projects

    • Interpreting and developing concepts done by taitamariki

    • Ensure design outputs are to a high standard

    • Provide regular in office support

    • Create project presentation material

    • Contribute to Architectural projects through the ĀKAU Studio

    • Responsible for communicating with clients and onsite liaison


    • Support ĀKAU Leaders! (our young design leaders) to increase their design, technical and project-related skills.

    • Mahitahi! Work collaboratively with our team as well as our extended whanau.

    • A commitment to improve matauranga and practice of Te Ao Māori and Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga.

    • Assist junior designers in the writing and layout of summary report writing for workshops and projects.

    • Willingness to commit to ĀKAU Facilitation training


    • Strong communication skills, presentation, oral and written

    • Passion for design, youth and community

    • Spatial/architecture/interior design experience

    • Experience in, or passion to develop Te Ao Māori knowledge

    • Competent in Adobe software

    • Experienced in CAD software - Revit preferred

    • Tertiary level qualification (BAS, BArch, MArch, etc)

    • Innovative approach to problem solving

    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

    • Commitment to on-going professional development

    • NZ Resident or valid work visa

    • Full Clean NZ License and reliable vehicle/transport to get to work

    • Good time management!

    • NB: Applicants will be subject to NZ Police Vetting in line with Vulnerable Children’s legislation


    To enquire or to apply please contact Ana Heremaia. We’d love to hear about what you’re passionate about and some examples of your previous mahi and experiences. It's important to find the right fit and we'd appreciate it you could get back to us by October 23, 2020 if you're interested. After a kōrero we can send you a more detailed Job Description and potentially go through a more robust interviewing process. ana@akau.co.nz or 021 0291 9799

    Working with ĀKAU since early 2019 has been a deep experience and rich exchange of mātauranga, reflected in awesome design concepts by taitamariki. My role as kaitautoko is alongside the ĀKAU whanau and taitamariki to help design and develop community projects with real, tangible outcomes that are meaningful and relevant.

    To see taitamariki empowered by design, the ĀKAU kaupapa, is breathtaking — they are the future kaitiaki of Aotearoa. To be given space to learn te ao Māori and tīkanga by working with ĀKAU ... kei ngā whakawhetai mō tēnei ahau.

    Catherine Griffiths