Waitangi National Trust to Extend Visitor Centre
22 April 2016
The Waitangi National Trust today announced plans to extend and enhance the Visitor Centre at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, with work to be completed by October 2016.
The original building, opened in 1983 by Prince Charles and Princess Diana, was designed by renowned Māori architect John Scott and is recognised as an important example of his work. However the building is too small to cater for growing visitor numbers to the Treaty Grounds and the extension will almost double the size of the existing facility. The existing theatre will be upgraded and enlarged and the retail shop expanded considerably. The Trust has worked closely with Heritage New Zealand to ensure the design of the extension is sympathetic to John Scott’s original plans.
Trust Chief Executive Greg McManus says the time is right for this development, following closely from the opening of the new Museum of Waitangi. “Our visitor numbers are growing rapidly, especially now the museum is open and receiving such positive feedback. The current visitor centre is simply too small to cope with the numbers, especially in summer, so the extension is much needed and overdue.”
Kaikohe firm Henwood Construction has been awarded the contract and will begin work in May 2016. The project will cost approximately $1.7 million and be funded by Waitangi National Trust.
Construction is expected to start in early May and be completed in time for the beginning of the summer tourist season in October.