Park’s heritage centre opens
The Ma¯ori, European and natural heritage of Queen Elizabeth Park in Ka¯piti is now on display at the Ramaroa centre, which opened on Saturday at the park’sMackays Crossing entrance off SH1.
Greater Wellington Regional Council parks portfolio leader Councillor Prue Lamason said the heritage centre was colourful, innovative and would showcase stories that bring the people, places and history of the region to life.
‘‘It will tell stories of the region’s rich history of Ma¯ori life in the wetland region, and more recent stories of European settlement and the place of US Marines in the park,’’ she said.
The complex also offers ameeting space which community groups and other organisations could book for their own activities or to learn more about the park.
It has a large meeting room capable of seating 60 people, which opens onto a covered deck area that will house displays about the park’s human history and unique natural environment. The centre also contains the park ranger office and visitor toilets.
Ka¯piti architect Ben Gilpin designed the complex. He said it had two separate gable buildings, tilted walls and a central gullwing roof, referring both to the traditional Ma¯ori wharenui and the tents in the Marines’ camp.
‘‘By using timber battens and separating the buildings the heritage centre creates a strong connection to a traditional pa¯ site. Posts supporting the gullwing roof are adorned with a contemporary design by local carver Nathan Te Rei, further enhancing the Ma¯ori and ancestral connection to the site.
‘‘The angled screens resemble typical tent flies and the gullwing roof references the coastal environment setting.’’
Ramaroa’s icon panels and ko¯whaiwhai were designed by artist Hermann Salzmann. The building was constructed by Ryder Builders.