Tuatahi – meaning ‘The First’ – marked the start of Ockham Residential’s collaboration with Marutūāhu Iwi.

Opened in stages over 2018 and 2019, the Mt Albert project – 119 units across three buildings – was soon followed by Kōkihi in Waterview. Two more collaborations are well on the way – Aroha in Avondale and Manaaki in Onehunga. By 2023, the Marutūāhu-Ockham partnership will have delivered 550 apartments for Auckland, including 199 KiwiBuilds.

Guided by our Marutūāhu partners, Head Architect Tania Wong and her team sought inspiration from one of Auckland’s most distinctive buildings.

“We spent a lot of time at Hotunui, the meeting house inside the Auckland War Memorial Museum,” says Wong. “It’s a stunning building, the most iconic wharenui of Marutūāhu. The layering and patterning of the coloured bricks, mortar colours and extruded bricks at Tuatahi was inspired by the tukutuku panels.” 

The development’s gently angled roofs also invite comparison with the structural composition of whare. At both of its entrances, striking bronze and wood waharoa  (gateway) further the sense that when one steps into Tuatahi they are arriving somewhere very special. This reverential design even extends to the (award-winning) swimming pool, which has a pātiki / flounder detailed in tiling on the bottom. As the water ripples above it, the pātiki seems to come alive. 

The three buildings at Tuatahi are enhanced by a lush lawn and landscaped garden that spill from the residents’ lounge – this is a place where everyone can pass time together. There’s also something upstairs at Tuatahi that makes it unique: a library and collective space that exudes zen, encouraging thought and quiet contemplation.


It’s one of Auckland’s gems — a suburb with plenty of parks, some charming older pockets mixed in with vibrant and energetic new developments. Leavened with a little grittiness yet undeniable stateliness, Mt Albert is just 7.5km from the CBD.

There’s a stateliness about Mt Albert, befitting its status as Auckland’s second oldest suburb. Yet it boasts one of the city’s most vibrant and diverse main streets. Little wonder The Spinoff declared it was the best suburb in Auckland.