QUARTERLY SITE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE - SEPTEMBER
The significant site developments at Te Puia l New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts (NZMACI) continue to take shape, with the new Wānanga Precinct now closed in and the footprint of the new wharekai clearly visible.
The new Wānanga Precinct continues to move closer to completion, with a dawn tā i te kawa ceremony held in August to celebrate the completion of the roof, which symbolically marked the birth of the house.
Set to tell a greater cultural story by bringing the internationally unique NZMACI operations to the forefront of the wider Te Puia experience, the new Wānanga Precinct is due to be fully completed in April 2018.
Te Puia special projects manager Nick Dallimore says progress is continuing at pace, with stage one of the wānanga due to be completed by the end of December 2017.
“At this point, all existing wānanga schools will shift from their current spaces into the new building.”
Stage two will then commence, involving the renovation of the current carving building into the new gallery and exhibition space, and tā moko (Māori tattoo) studio.
The Wānanga Precinct has been designed to strengthen the work of the national schools and their important cultural contribution and just as importantly, ensure Te Puia's tourism operation adapts to the constantly evolving needs and expectations of manuhiri (visitors), offering an enriched experience.
Te Puia is working hard to minimise disruption to visitors. The existing Wānanga building is still open to visitors as the new building site is behind the existing school. All visitor activities remain open during the site construction.
Perched to overlook the geothermal vista with stunning views of Pōhutu geyser, the new café and restaurant captures the valley’s spectacular backdrop to create a remarkable dining experience.
The Te Arawa people of Te Whakarewarewa Valley have been hosting visitors to the region for almost 200 years and Te Puia’s new 300-seat wharekai will take the organisation’s commitment to manaakitanga (hosting) to a whole new level.
Significant progress has been made on the wharekai, with the outline of the building now clearly visible. The wharekai is on target to be completed early July 2018.
A temporary container café has been installed underneath the Whakaruruhau (a large sheltered area near the entrance) providing manuhiri with a range of food and beverage options.
The area now includes a new “hot section” where manuhiri can enjoy kai (food) straight from the barbeque.
A temporary container café has been installed underneath the Whakaruruhau (large sheltered area near the entrance of Te Puia) providing fresh food, coffee, ice-cream and refreshments. Plenty of tables and chairs are available at the café.
The Kiwi House at Te Puia has welcomed two new kiwi - Kiritehere (male) and Marokopa (female). Both hatched at Otorohanga Kiwihouse on Boxing Day last year and have been named after the two west coast beaches that sit side by side near Otorohanga.
Kiritehere and Marokopa join Te Puia’s existing kiwi, Marama and Sketch. They will all move into the new Kiwi House, which will host two separate enclosures, once its established.
Te Puia special projects manager Nick Dallimore says the space will include an interpretation area, feeding and health check viewing, and specialty lighting, watering systems and air ventilation.
Nestled into the slope, the building’s location will lend itself to the effect of entering down into the kiwi burrow, providing manuhiri with a significantly enhanced experience.
Nick says the new design provides two different routes past the kiwi enclosure, enabling large groups to separate for a more in-depth and intimate offering.
“The interpretation area can also be separated from the main ‘tour route’ to provide a space for private kiwi presentations, with a purpose-built viewing area to watch health checks and food preparation.”
The construction of the new Kiwi House is expected to have little disruption on manuhiri visiting Te Puia and our precious kiwi birds. The existing Kiwi House is still open to visitors as the new building site is developed.