Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui tour construction site and sign contract for artwork installations
Kīngi Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero Te Tuawhitu, rōpū and representatives from Waikato-Tainui visited the construction site of University of Waikato’s landmark project, The Pā, this week.
The visit marks an important milestone in the development of The Pā, which is expected to open in mid-2022. It is the University’s largest capital works project in its 57-year history and will provide a new main entrance to the Hillcrest campus, transforming the experience for students, staff, visitors and the broader community.
During the visit Kīngi Tūheitia was given a tour of the construction site and met with staff members from Hawkins Construction. A hui was also held with University staff and the Tikanga Advisory Group for The Pā, which has developed a cultural narrative framework for the building outlining how history, heritage, mana and identity will be reflected in the cultural installations and artworks that will feature inside and out.
As part of the hui, Donna Flavell, Chief Executive of Waikato-Tainui and University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley, signed a contract for Waikato-Tainui to deliver the cultural installations and artworks for The Pā in partnership with a number of local carvers and artists.
University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley, says the visit marks a significant milestone for The Pā, and cements the University’s appreciation for the mana of the Kīngitanga and of the King in relation to The Pā.
“Progress can now be seen on site with the walls of the wharenui in place, and the key structural elements of the building becoming visible. We are excited to see the building come to life and to share the story of The Pā with our community,” he says.
Archdeacon Ngira Simmonds, Chief of Staff at the Office of the Kīngitanga, says:
“The relationship between the Kiingitanga and the University of Waikato is critical for us all. This new building project will be a further manifestation of the deep bonds of respect and aroha that bind the Kiingitanga and University. Kiingi Tuheitia is proud that his personal carvers will be involved with this project and bring to life the vision of a Paa central to University life.”
For more information about The Pā visit: https://www.waikato.ac.nz/major-projects/the-pa