Wānanga Precinct Redevelopment at NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI)
Te Puia spans 70 hectares within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Valley, on the southern edge of Rotorua. It is home to the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, mud pools, hot springs, silica formations, the kiwi bird and is the home of NZMACI which incorporates the national schools of wood carving, weaving, and stone and bone carving (Wānanga Precinct), as well as its other cultural development functions.
Te Puia, the home of NZMACI, is an iconic and very mature New Zealand visitor attraction based in Rotorua. Over 420,000 paying visitors, visited the operation in the 2014/15 financial year. The redevelopment of the Wānanga Precinct provides for new wood carving, weaving, and stone and bone carving workshops as well as other cultural development functions.
The Wānanga Development project consolidates NZMACI’s education responsibilities, alongside the opportunity to share their stories, initiatives and experiences with the world as a critical part of the wider Te Puia visitor experience.
The layout of the Wānanga Precinct will lead visitors into the building past ten teko teko (carved figures), a celebration of the wānanga graduated students. The first working exhibition is the national school of stone and bone carving; visitors will then be greeted by the bronze foundry, where students and tutors showcase their skills and engage fascinated onlookers seeking insight into their world. After an insightful view into the stone and bone carving school, and bronze foundry, visitors continue their excursion up the ramp for a bird’s eye view of the woodcarvers at work, before funnelling out through the weaving school and into what used to be the old wood carving school. This building now includes a tā moko (Māori tattoo) studio, gallery space, and a premium Te Taki lounge.
The project came in on time and on budget!