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NZ$17.5m Self Funded Tourism Project On Time

NEWS RELEASE

NZ$17.5m Self Funded Tourism Project On Time & Under Budget

Rotorua, New Zealand – 23 November 2006. New Zealand’s leading cultural tourism experience, Te Puia is readying itself to showcase an enhanced visitor offering which will include a high-spec interactive experience using leading edge tourism technologies along with a spectacular new building Nga Waru Pu Manawa,(eight beating hearts of Te Arawa) which contains a number of physical and cultural elements believed to be a first not only for New Zealand but the world.

The new Te Puia promises to elevate current visitor experiences and will certainly challenge cultural paradigms in that cherished traditions of this historically and culturally significant site will be re-presented to visitors in a 21st century context which will add an exciting new dimension to New Zealand’s cultural tourism offering.

Te Puia chief executive officer, Andrew Te Whaiti says “this project has been a labour of love and dedication from a great team of Te Puia staff and some of New Zealand’s best design and creative talents.” Mr Te Whaiti credits the team work of everyone involved as playing a significant role in progress to date, phase one of which will open ahead of schedule at the beginning of December. The second and final phase will open in February.

Stand out elements of the new Te Puia include design work which has interpreted traditional stories from the Te Arawa people and Whakarewarewa Valley into modern architectural design. This is exemplified in the challenging curvature of the enormous roof of Nga Waru Pu Manawa that depicts the legendary Hatupatu and his magical cloaks through contemporary woven panelling. More than 30 artists have contributed to Nga Waru Pu Manawa with unique, contemporary weaving and carving works that bring form and life to the building.

In Te Whare Tapere (house of multi disciplines), the design team take existing technology platforms employed in multi award winning museums and attractions to an exciting new level. These include an interactive 3D sensory table depicting the Whakarewarewa Valley. Mr Te Whaiti says “guiding and learning has been an integral part of Te Puia for centuries and here in Te Whare Tapere we are adding another dimension to the guiding experience by way of an interactive, high-tech virtual introduction to the Valley which will hopefully add to the visitors experience, understanding and appreciation of Te Puia”.

The most ambitious design statement would have to be the new entrance feature Te Heketanga a Rangi (heavenly origins) that features 12 monumental contemporary Pou structures reaching skyward, each one representing a celestial guardian according to Te Arawa.

Mr Te Whaiti says that the Te Puia team are “full of pride and anticipation over this new and ambitious project and look forward to seeing the reaction from visitors”. This includes the opportunity to showcase Te Puia to nearly 1400 international delegates at TRENZ 2007.

ENDS

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