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Hawaiian architecture students visit Victoria

Eleven architecture students and a staff member from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa will visit Victoria University’s School of Architecture next week in a first for the two universities.

Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Robin Skinner, says the students will participate in a programme between 23 June - 4 July, focusing on Maori and Pacific architecture and culture, including an introduction to bicultural issues in Aotearoa/ New Zealand.

Mr Skinner says the visit starts with a powhiri at Te Herenga Waka Marae and includes a series of talks, Wellington-based activities, visits to marae and historic Maori sites, and study of traditional and contemporary Maori architecture in the lower North Island.

“The visit culminates in a collaborative design project by the Hawaiian and Victoria students and Ngati Toa – extensions to the existing Health Centre at Takapuwahia Marae.

“The final event will see a formal presentation of the design project to Ngati Toa,” he says.

Matariki events will be added to widen the learning experience of participants and increase their appreciation of te reo, tikanga and matauranga Maori.

Maori and Pacific students, including student mentors from the Faculty’s Awhina scheme, and other students and staff from Victoria’s Schools of Architecture and Design will be involved.

The joint initiative follows the February visit of a delegation from the University of Hawai’i, led by the University’s President, Dr Evan Dobelle. The exploration of opportunities for further collaboration and benefits to staff and students was central to that visit to Victoria.

The students’ itinerary comprises three parts.

Sun 22 - Wed 25 June
Activities are Wellington-focused and will include tours of historic sites, Takapuwahia Marae, Tapu Te Ranga Marae, Te Papa Tongarewa Maori and Pacific collections, the Dowse Art Museum, Pataka, Te Wananga O Aotearoa, speakers, social events and an introduction to the design studio.

Thurs 26 – Sun 29 June
Activities are Whanganui-based, extend westwards and eastwards and include visits to marae, kurakaupapa, Rangahaua, an iwi Health Centre, historic sites such as coastal Taranaki marae Parihaka, the newly opened Puke Ariki museum and library complex in New Plymouth, contemporary Maori award winning and John Scott buildings in Whanganui, New Plymouth, Otaki and Palmerston North.

Mon 30 - Fri 4 July
The design project: extensions to a Maori Health Centre. Invited speakers - academics and professional Maori and Pacific architects – will talk about their past and present work. Manuhiri will talk about their courses and design projects.


For further details or to arrange photo opportunities contact Robin Skinner, School of Architecture, phone 463 6273 or email:

Issued by Victoria University of Wellington Public Affairs
For further information please contact or phone 04 463 5163 or 025 675 5399

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