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Prime Minister Opens Scion’s New Front Door - Te Whare Nui O Tuteata

Scion’s striking innovation building, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata, was today officially opened by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Minister of Research, Science & Innovation, Hon Dr Megan Woods and 500 guests, heralding a new era in Scion’s evolution.

The building name “Te Whare Nui o Tuteata” was gifted by Ngā Hapū e Toru who hold mana over the whenua. The name acknowledges the mana of the tupuna Tuteata, from whom Ngā Hapū e Toru descend and the connection to the whenua, Tītokorangi.

Scion, a Crown Research Institute, has been the centre of New Zealand’s forestry sector for over 70 years. The opening of Te Whare Nui o Tuteata today is the next step in Scion’s growth, as the organisation steps forward to support New Zealand to solve some of its most pressing issues through innovation in manufacturing, energy and sustainable land-use.

Scion Chair Dr Helen Anderson says the opening today is a big part of the institute’s redevelopment: “We are at a defining point for New Zealand, with the potential for forestry to fuel a bio-based and sustainable economy. Scion’s work has the potential to power the transformation that New Zealand is making as we look to meet our climate change commitments, build our economy back better, and improve environmental and social outcomes.

Te Whare Nui o Tuteata is the ‘front door’ to Scion’s campus – Te Papa Tipu Innovation Park – which is already home to more than 30 different organisations and companies.

Scion Chief Executive Dr Julian Elder says “Te Whare Nui o Tuteata is an example of timber technology and innovative design and construction that has been created through collaboration with New Zealand designers, wood processors and construction firms. This building is a symbol of the powerful connections we foster between Scion, local iwi, government, industry and the local community.”

Te Whare Nui o Tuteata showcases innovative technologies for large buildings in timber – that are climate-friendly, earthquake-resilient, fast and cost effective. The building stores approximately 418 tonnes of CO2-eqv for the life of the building. This is equivalent to the emissions from 160 return flights from Auckland to London. New Zealand’s radiata pine forests can regrow this amount of wood in just 35 minutes – making it truly sustainable.

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