Urban Eels Wins National and International Planning Awards

Awards & NZPI Planning Quarterly February 2022

Such a great start to 2022! I’m delighted to share with you that “Urban Eels: Our Sustainable City” received the New Zealand PIanning Institute Rodney Davis Project Award 2021 and won the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) Award for Conservation of the Built and Natural Environment and Cultural Heritage, announced at the Malaysia City Expo November 2021.

NZPI kindly invited me to provide an article on Urban Eels for their Planning Quarterly magazine – and so I put pen to paper over the Summer holiday! And here it is – “Reweaving Nature into Our Cities” features in Planning Quarterly February 2022! I discuss the project, the place, the people and the process that brought Urban Eels to fruition. I hope it provides some good food for thought and inspires others to share their ideas and chase their dreams too! Thanks to NZPI and the PQ editorial team for their encouragement and their stunning presentation of the article.

Read the Planning Quarterly article

Watch Urban Eels video

Read “Urban Eels: Our Sustainable City” Implementation Plan (2018)

Urban Eels Dawn Blessing

On 31st July we held a dawn blessing for “Urban Eels: Our Sustainable City”. Together, we have created a new space within our urban fabric to reconnect with nature and share and experience Tikanga Māori. Feeling grateful and honoured to have shared this journey with so many inspiring people.

Mihimihi / speeches – Fiona Gordon

“Tēnā kotou [good morning],

Urban Eels is a very special place.

Today is a very special day.

Both mark the success of a truly collaborative project.

But it was not always a project.  It started as an idea.  It blossomed into a four-year journey.  Now, it has become a destination for everyone to enjoy.

Urban Eels was only able to develop and grow because of the people.  Those people brought their skills, their knowledge, their time, their energy, and their resources to the table – along with a big dose of passion and persistence and, importantly, a shared vision.

Together, we have created a sanctuary for tuna [eel].  A place that tells us of the enduring relationship between man and tuna. 

It is a place for us to reconnect with nature and to share and experience Tikanga Māori – philosophies and practices.  These, in my mind, are essential components for the development of a wider sustainability practice in New Zealand.

There are so many people to thank today, most of whom have already been acknowledged by previous speakers. However, I do wish to say a very special thank you to two people in particular, Paul Horton and Danielle Harris of Tanenuiarangi Manawatū Incorporated.

I feel both honoured and extremely grateful that Tanenuiarangi Manawatū Incorporated allowed me the opportunity to partner with them on this journey to bring Urban Eels to life.

Thank you to all who have contributed to and supported our journey together.







Ngā mihi.

Link to “Urban Eels: Our Sustainable City” Implementation Plan