The design is modelled after a traditional Manaeba meeting house.
The Kiribati community has a design for a cultural centre – now it just needs the funding and the land.
The Kiribati Aotearoa Diaspora Directorate (KADD) is proposing to build a shared space in Mahurangi for Pacific peoples and is investigating locations in Matakana, Warkworth and Wellsford.
For the design, KADD commissioned UK-based architects Edward Couper and Lučka Kuhar who have years of experience designing prominent projects in Kiribati, including social housing and flood resilient buildings. KADD chair Rae Bainteiti says the building would provide a much-needed cultural space for new migrants.
“It will not only provide a space where they can be reminded of home, but also be a vital monument to honour their culture as they adapt to life in New Zealand,” Rae says.
“By opening up the space to the public, it also addresses the importance of sharing Kiribati culture with the wider community, improving its perception and approach.”
The design is modelled on Manaeba meeting houses that are traditionally the centre of village life in the Kiribati Islands. It is envisioned it could host exhibitions, community fairs, orientations for new migrants, support groups, youth art programmes and community kitchens.