Multi-million dollar upgrade for NZ Māori Arts and Crafts

Multi-million dollar upgrade for NZ Māori Arts and Crafts


A $12 million upgrade
is currently underway for the prestigious
carving and weaving schools at the New Zealand Maori Arts and
Crafts Institute in Rotorua. The school has been operating
in Whakarewarewa for 50 years and its expansion will enable the
facility to cash on increasing visitor numbers
to the country’s tourism Mecca. Roihana Nuri with this report. This is the land
where a new state of the art NZ Maori Arts and Crafts building
will be built. This school’s foundations were built
on the aspirations of our ancestors, and this new development
is an extension of that so as you can see
we are really excited. This exciting multi storey
development is being overseen
by the new NZMACI GM Eraia Kiel. The school was opened in 1967
some 50 years ago. As you can see the Arts
and Crafts building are old. The challenge was to bring
together the two main functions. On the one-hand you have
the visitors’ experience and the other, the students working
without being bothered. So it’s quite a unique design
project for me. This a map of most of the work that
will be carried out through Te Puia. But for the schools
there will be a different viewing platform for tourists and more exciting aspects
in the design. At the time of graduating
from architect school there weren’t projects like this, the bulk of the work
was on designs for only marae. But now there are many types of work
in the Maori world and it’s amazing. Every year we are seeing increased numbers of students
and tourists. It’s a great thing for Te Arawa to look after visitors
that come here to Te Whakarewarewa. The new building is about supporting
the students’ work and their dreams in the arts
and crafts of our ancestors. Our entire funding
for our development has been generated
by our tourism operations. I’m excited to see the walls, the roof and the building go up
over the next few months. At the end of the year there
will be a brand new building here. Roihana Nuri, Te Karere.

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