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Tāne Whakapiripiri

Our Whare

Te Puna Wānaka

Ko wai te whare? Ko Te Mātauranga Māori.
Mō wai te whare? Mō tātou katoa.

When the wharenui at Te Puna Wānaka was blessed in 1995, the question was asked “Who is this whare?” and the answer rang out “It is Te Mātauranga Māori!” – Māori knowledge, understanding and practice.

A second question was then posed: “For whom is this house?” and the response resonated loud and clear, “It is for all who wish to enter and help keep it warm!

Te Mātauranga Māori was built and dedicated as a gateway for Māori to reconnect with their language and culture in absolute belief that these two factors would anchor our people’s wellbeing and support their future prosperity. That kaupapa remains as true today as it did then, and we feel privileged and humbled to be the current caretakers of this significant facility.

The building itself carries all the symbolism of a traditional wharenui albeit highly stylised and bedecked with modern materials. The design of the building was intended to synthesise Māori cosmology with western knowledge, allowing the values of manaakitanga, aroha ki te tangata, whanaungatanga and rangatiratanga to resonate within and beyond its walls.

Many local Māori and Pasifika community groups hold their hui, wānanga and fono here at Te Puna Wānaka, and their ongoing presence is fundamentally important to us. It was built with the community, for the community and that is the ethos of our whare.

Come in and see us.
Nau mai, tauti mai rā!

Our Other Whare

Many of the buildings at Ara have been inspired by kaupapa Māori principles and narratives, and a large number of them have been named in respect of local traditions and our unique Canterbury landscapes.

  • Te Whare Poutama: Maori Student study space (Timaru Campus) 
  • Hawaiki: Māori Student study space (Christchurch City Campus) 
  • Kahukura: Department of Engineering and Architecture (Christchurch City Campus) 
  • Manawa Campus (Health Precinct, Christchurch CBD)

For a full list of Ara buildings and facilities that have dedicated Māori names, see our campus master plan here.