Te Waka attraction proposed for Auckland waterfront
Promoters of Te Waka, a major cultural tourism attraction for Auckland’s waterfront, have offered to save ratepayer funds and build a new cruise ship terminal into its design if the government and Auckland Council make Queens Wharf available for its location.
Conceived six years ago by designer Logan Brewer (Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and the recently opened Te Wao Nui at Auckland Zoo), the attraction aims to tell New Zealand’s unique story of Pacific migration and settlement and celebrate Auckland’s rich and diverse cultural heritage with interactive, high technology exhibits and experiences. With its translucent structure reminiscent of a Polynesian fish trap Te Waka would form a significant landmark on Auckland’s waterfront, and a fresh expression of Auckland’s identity.
The plan calls for a 30-metre dome planetarium with a virtual reality experience of Polynesian navigation in a life-size ancient waka. Live performances and high-tech audio visual storytelling would be provided in a 1,200 seat auditorium theatre. Food offerings would include a large seafood restaurant with views through to a tropical coral reef. The promoters say that with a continuous programme of free and commercial entertainment, Te Waka could be a natural home for a
wide range of traditional and popular music; visual arts and craft; tattoo; food, cultural festivals and marine innovation from waka to super-yachts.
Te Waka Pacific Discovery Limited says it has several major investors prepared to fund the attraction subject to securing a prime site in Auckland’s waterfront development plan. It has advised Auckland Councillors at a public hearing that the proposal could accommodate the cruise ship terminal, and any future development of the commuter ferry terminal under
a public-private partnership arrangement. The Te Waka development proposal would have a commercial attraction at its core, but with space and facilities preserved for handling cruise ship visits, as well as providing free public access for a range of cultural events and attractions all year round.
NB: The Te Waka proposal and its promoters are entirely separate and unrelated to the plastic waka erected at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour during the RWC.