Drawing from the past, building for the future

31 Oct 2011

HMA designs new tribal centre for the Waikato Tainui

In line with the aspirations and mandate of the Waikato Tainui’s, 2050 strategic vision for this site, the proposed master plan and associated buildings seek to establish Hopuhopu (the site) as the administrative / commercial, social, recreational and tribal knowledge hub for Waikato Tainui (approx. 60,000 people). This 137 hectare site is bounded on the north and west by the Waikato River and is flanked by the Hakarimata Ranges to the west. To the north of the site lies Mt. Taupiri, a culturally significant mountain to the people of Tainui and is home to the tribe's sacred burial ground.

Proposed functions as part of the brief include: Tribal Parliament /Administration and Media Centre; Sports and Leisure Centre; River Centre and Gallery; Waka Marina complete with stage and River Terrace for events and river based festivals, as well as a Carving School / Workshop and Café.

It is envisaged that Hopuhopu will become a primary destination for Maori events, tourism, business events and development – a place to celebrate the cultural values and proud heritage of Waikato Tainui people. The bespoke nature of some of the proposed functions coupled with a unique and wonderful cultural underlay of customs and meaning helps to give this development a really strong sense of place and connectedness to both the immediate and surrounding context.

The orientation of the central spine of the master plan sets up a clear axial alignment with Mt Taupiri as the focal point, and intentionally delineates the point of intersection with the river as place of importance. The Pou (columns) along the central spine of the park will be carved to depict the strong connection Waikato Tainui have to the Kingitanga Movement. It is considered of upmost importance that the proposed development conceptually and symbolically references the past but builds with many future generations in mind.

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