Waikato Regional Theatre – Iwi engagement

Waikato Regional Theatre will be a world-class performing arts centre within a vibrant and essential creative precinct for Kirikiriroa Hamilton and the Waikato. As construction progresses, work is underway to develop the cultural narratives for the Theatre and surrounding public spaces.

Momentum Waikato engaged RDT Pacific to partner with mana whenua to establish the cultural narrative for the theatre site and surrounding public spaces. The intention of this work is to integrate and acknowledge the historical and cultural significance of the site and increase its appeal to the many people who will engage with it over time. This project required an understanding of tikanga and kawa, experience with iwi engagement and a broad understanding of the wider cultural ecosystem, particularly in the Waikato rohe.

RDT Pacific are already involved as Project Manager for Waikato Regional Theatre and this new commission required a high level of engagement with the five Kirikiriroa hapū (sub-tribes) to ensure te ao Māori is embedded across the new theatre and its surrounds.

The project team facilitated wānanga with hapū to co-design the kaupapa for an art integration project, intended to deliver an authentic, culturally responsive experience for to the site.

The team then facilitated the development of the cultural narrative and are now working with hapū to bring the vision to life and incorporate it into the build project.

Stage 1 for this project has delivered the Waikato Regional Theatre Art Integration Project, a realistic overview our clients can use as a foundation for an authentic cultural response for the Theatre and the public spaces that surround it. This work is critical to ensuring the mana of the site is upheld, and the design is long-standing to reflect an important piece of history as well as a vision for this key site.

RDT Pacific’s Capital Intelligence team are uniquely placed within the built industry to offer capital analysis and insights, as well as guidance and advice on capital development.

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