New Plymouth Airport terminal wins gold award for Māori storytelling

New Plymouth Airport terminal wins gold award for Māori storytelling

Puketapu hapu member and cultural design lead Rangi Kipa in front of the Tuahu panel which depicts the child, Awa-Nui-A-Rangi, of Tamarau (male) and Rongoueroa (female) and tells the creation narrative of the Te Ātiawa tribe at New Plymouth’s new airport terminal.

GLENN JEFFREY/Stuff

Puketapu hapu member and cultural design lead Rangi Kipa in front of the Tuahu panel which depicts the child, Awa-Nui-A-Rangi, of Tamarau (male) and Rongoueroa (female) and tells the creation narrative of the Te Ātiawa tribe at New Plymouth’s new airport terminal.

New Plymouth Airport’s new terminal has won a prestigious design award celebrating how the site’s cultural heritage was reflected in the build.

The terminal sits on the ancestral land of Taranaki’s Puketapu hapu and members collaborated with the project team, design consultants, Beca, and builders, Clelands, to ensure their legacy was reflected.

On Friday night the project was a gold winner at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards, the biggest in Australasia, for its recognition of Māori storytelling and artistic impression.

The design encompasses the entire terminal with Tamarau (male) at the northern end, Rongoueroa (female) at the southern end with a Tuahu panel in the centre with a figurine depicting their child Awa-Nui-A-Rangi.

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Hapu member and cultural design lead Rangi Kipa said it told the creation narrative of the Te Ātiawa tribe, and years ago a whale tooth carving of the child had been discovered at the site, which was now in Puke Ariki’s collection.

It was awesome to receive the recognition, Kipa said.

“That’s the award that we wanted to win.

“The collaborative engagement was an opportunity for our people to work on an infrastructure project that gives a level of visibility to our community that has been lacking for many years.”

Kipa said it was pleasing to have been able to give a narrative to the building that detailed the cultural heritage of the site and hapu.

“When visitors arrive now at least they will know that they are in Taranaki.”

Beca Project Manager, Matt Low, said it was a thrill to have the Te Hono project recognised by the Toitanga award.

“It’s been a huge collaborative effort by the whole project team and we are honoured to have this recognition for all those involved,” Low said.

The terminal was also a finalist in the Spatial Design Communication category which reflected how a project used its allocated space to create a tone and vibe while also acknowledges the tools, processes and efforts required to bring it to fruition.

Last month the terminal was also a finalist at last month’s New Zealand Building Industry Awards.

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