Awarua - our building
Gisborne District Council's new administration building was officially opened on 15 January 2018. The building is named Awarua.
The name Awarua (2 waters) represents strength from the joining of cultures.
Tohunga Derek Lardelli, guided the cultural and spiritual components of the building’s design to reflect the Tairāwhiti region.
The design, shape and features of Awarua are based on a double hulled canoe (waka). The waka illustrates the significant history of our region and the pathways that we've travelled. The architecture and design elements communicate the present and our challenges, and our vision to achieve future excellence.
A waka above the main entrance, sits on a design called poutama (achievement) Tairāwhiti. It encourages all who pass under it to toss their troubles into the hull. Our dreams and aspirations are in this building and every time we enter, we’re moving closer towards our future hopes and aspirations.
The hokai foyer, or customer service area, is the connector that joins the cultures of the waka. Te Takapau o Papatuanuku is the name of the design element on the wall behind customer service. It represents all the energy that comes from Papatuanuku (Mother Earth) that's embedded into the fabric of the building.
Niho (teeth) Taniwha (guardian), is the design that can be seen around the whole building. It represents guardianship of our rich culture, history and knowledge and protection of this on behalf of our community.
Videos of the opening
Speech by Mayor Meng Foon
Speech by Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann
Official opening ceremony
Speech by Hon Nanaia Mahutia MP
Local Government Minister
Council's Maori Engagement Coordinator