Introducing The Pā
Māu, māku, mā tātou katoa

The University of Waikato is building an innovative and versatile new facility, The Pā, which will transform the on-campus experience for students, staff, visitors and the broader community.

The Pā will provide a new main entrance to the campus, a student hub (including food outlets and social learning spaces) and a new University marae. The Pā will strengthen the overall capability of the campus for University and community events and activities.

Site Update, September 2021

Latest Update

August 2021: Council Room framing installed

Some of the landmark design features of The Pā are starting to become more evident. This image shows the steel framing for the new Council room and offices for senior leadership is now in place. The curved wall of the Council room will be one of the most visible features of the entrance to The Pā.

Take a look at how the finished complex will look in the video at the top of this page, a flythrough showcasing key areas of The Pā.

Steel framing for the new Council room and offices for senior leadership

Latest Update

June 2021: Large glulam beam installed

Hawkins installed the largest of the ‘glulam’ beams that form the main roof structure of The Pā.

This beam is 43m long and weighs 4.2 tonnes. The glulam beams are the largest in the country and are made with timber from sustainably harvested plantation forests.

Glulam beam

Glulam beam being hoisted into place

Latest Update

May 2021: Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui visit

Kīngi Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero Te Tuawhitu, rōpū and representatives from Waikato-Tainui visited The Pā construction site.

Kīngi Tūheitia was given a tour of the site, and a contract was signed for Waikato-Tainui to deliver the cultural installations and artworks for The Pā in partnership with a number of local carvers and artists.

Read more

Kīngi Tūheitia with University of Waikato and Hawkins Construction staff

Kīngi Tūheitia with University of Waikato and Hawkins Construction staff

Project timeline

  • Demolition and site preparation: Summer 2019/2020
  • Construction: Winter 2020 – Winter 2022
  • Completion: Mid 2022

An artist impression of The Pā from an aerial view.

The Pā site following demolition works (Feb 2020).

Conceptualising The Pā

He piringa, he āhurutanga

'The Pā' is a reference to the concept of community and location, signalling a concentration of strategically located and designed buildings that provide for the people within.

The Pā site is on a special part of campus, a prime location on Hillcrest Road, and it will create a welcoming and vibrant core facility on the Hamilton campus.

Features and design

The design of The Pā incorporates input from students, staff and community, with advisory groups each having opportunities to work with the architects.

The Pā site is on a special part of campus, a prime location on Hillcrest Road.The Pa view on arrival

University marae and wharenui

He mana, he manaaki
Hei pupuru i te mana o Te Whare Wānanga

A new University marae complex will be located in the heart of The Pā.

The Wharenui (central meeting house) provides the form and inspiration for the entire complex. Supported by the main University reception, a generous ātea/courtyard and the central campus walkway, the Wharenui will define the University’s new face to Hillcrest Road.

The Pa axis view

Student Hub

Hei āhurutanga mō ngā ākonga

The student hub will provide spaces for students to socialise, rest, debate, eat and recharge.
It will be the year-round home of campus life for students, including:

  • Bookable study and meeting spaces
  • Food and beverage retail
  • A generous social space with moveable furniture
  • A stage for performances, events and conferences

The Pa interior hub view to the stage

Community and leadership spaces

He wāhi whai pūkenga, he wāhi toi, mō te hapori

The Pā will also be utilised for large events including student welcomes and performances, conferences and other celebrations and activities. The concept and design bring together:

  • A main University reception and executive offices
  • A refurbished space for Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao: Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies
  • Multi-function rooms for teaching and conference activities
  • Spacious courtyards, easy walkways and connection points

The interior hub view towards FMIS

Improving campus connectivity

Hei tūhonohono i te papa wānanga

The Pā will create connections across the Hamilton campus, closely aligning with Te Manawa (The Student Centre), and lecture theatres in S and L Blocks.

These connections, including a new lift system, will improve mobility access in the heart of the campus.

The Pa view across the plaza

Me he pātai? Have a question?

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