Homes for Creatures – Hobsonville’s Habitat Markers 

Name of case study:

Homes for Creatures – Hobsonville’s Habitat Markers 


Along the Hobsonville Coastal Walkway, a pedestrian route around the neighbourhoods of Onekiritea, in Auckland, New Zealand




Building/single site

Area / size:

3m tall

NbS employed

Insect Hotels/Bee Hotels/Nesting Boxes





Climate change benefits
  • loss of food production
  • increased pests / weeds
  • Flooding
  • changes in rainfall 
  • Changes in phenology

Insects, birds and bees are being negatively impacted by climate change, and are an essential part of our planet’s ecosystems. Helping bees, insects and birds however we can is a genuine, essential way of addressing climate change. 

In New Zealand, we have a wide array of insects, bees and birds that are endemic to this country, that we need to protect. The interaction between our native creatures and plants is a relationship that makes the natural environment of New Zealand unique and special. 

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Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Food security & quality

Building an insect or bee hotel, or a nesting box, should be a simple, carbon-neutral way to engage people with biodiversity health and conservation.

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Ecological benefits
  • Aesthetic value / artistic inspiration
  • Biological control (regulation of pests and disease)
  • Pollination 
  • Habitat provision

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As cities look to become more sustainable and incorporate more urban green spaces, supporting pollination can be a minimal cost, high reward strategy (Hane & Korfmacher, 2022). Bees are our biggest pollinator, so must be protected. [/expand]

Summary of case study

Eleven Habitat Markers have been dotted through the Hobsonville Coastal Walkway, which is four kilometres along the coastal, linear park. Isthmus designed the walkway through the park, and describe it as “a healthy, green necklace stitched into the surrounding neighbourhoods through a fluted edge, linking social spaces that are built up from and reflect Hobsonville’s history and character. It is a habitat for people and wildlife that contrasts with the built-up intensity of the peninsula, and an opportunity for meeting and socialising, discovery through play, pausing, resting and contemplation” (Isthmus 2024).

The Markers create a connection to the local ecologies and act as moment to pause along the track. Sculpted and installed by Phillip Meier, they are three metre tall wooden elements, carved with holes and hollows for birds and insects to make homes in. 

The idea is that the community can track the progress of the little houses through time, making them an interactive part of the walkway, for adults and children alike.


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