November 17, 2020
Award vindicates hapu’s terminal design fight
A designer of an award-winning airport terminal says his hapū had to fight to get the commission.
New Plymouth Airport’s new terminal won gold at this year’s Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards for its recognition of Māori storytelling and artistry.
Rangi Kipa says the land for the airport was taken from Puketapu hapū under the Public Works Act, and the name of the site refers to an incident from the tribe’s history.
He says Puketapu was upset to hear the council had given the design contract to consultants Beca and builder Clelands.
"When we found out the council had commissioned a design we went in to have some pretty robust discussions – they weren't polite – and it took us a little while before we came back and decided what we would do is sit down and have a two-day wānanga to thrash out our relationship, because our people remember the loss of those two blocks of land and at that stage the council had kind of forgotten about it," Mr Kipa says.
The design encompasses the entire terminal with the male Tamarau at the northern end, the female at the southern end and a tuahu panel in the centre with a figurine depicting their child Awa-Nui-ā-Rangi.
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