Waitangi – Te Rau Aroha

Completed 2020

Te Rau Aroha was officially opened in February 2020 at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

This is HB Architecture’s seventh completed project on the treaty grounds and it truely holds a special place in the hearts of our team.

Named ‘Te Rau Aroha’ after the mobile canteen that brought tobacco, cake, music and radio to the Māori Battalion line during World War II. This new museum includes the stories of the New Zealand wars and the Boer War, with a strong focus on the Pioneer Battalion of WWI and the Māori Battalion.

The site is located at “brown fields” site on the upper level of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

The museum area is positioned on the axis of Te Whare Rūnanga and the whare waka down near Hobson’s Beach. To the north of the site is the Treaty House and directly in front of the building is the flagstaff which is on the axis of the museum entry, centre of the atea, extending out to the entrance of the Bay of Islands.

The museum atea is on the intersection of the two axes.

Between the “brown fields” site and the Treaty Grounds is a row of mature pohutukawa, generally trees of great significance having been planted by visiting dignitaries over many decades.

The museum commemorates the service of Māori in the armed forces.

A space to convey the history on Māori involvement in military service, a gallery remembering the 3600 soldiers that served as the 28 Battalion, a room dedicated to A Company (Te Tai Tokerau). Externally the design is a sombre, dark building: organised, rigid, military style, focussed on place and protection. Internally the museum is dark, connected with war, the gallery, remembrance space is light filled, connected with life and service.

The Learning Centre includes education and support for functions, plus staff facilities. A light building connected with today.

The Atea – The formal entrance is a square space with radiating rings, the representation of single actions having significant effects.

Te Rau Aroha is a solid monolithic building with concrete floor, precast concrete walls, minimal windows, warm roof all supported by a structural steel frame. Practically, it was important for the museum to have a solid, well thermally insulated envelope. Aesthetically the maumaharatanga needed to demonstrate a place of safety and security for important taonga.

Tahouaroa is in total contrast – a light timber framed building, timber floor, timber cladding and a lot of glass, profiled steel roofing. The building, a place for wānanga and manaakitanga was to be light and open to the environment – a welcoming and restful place.

The building is fitted with a BMS which closely monitors and controls the key services. Temperature and humidity requirements are continuously monitored for optimum performance. Fresh air economiser control allows for free cooling utilising outside air. CO2 sensors control fresh air volumes to match occupancies and reduce fresh air heating/cooling energy consumption.

A key design feature is the photovoltaic system. 285 solar panels are positioned on the roof. The energy yield is stored in lithium battery packs, used in the building, or discharged to the grid.

Significant data is stored regarding the PV system through the Tesla portal. The Solar system is a 108.3kW grid-tied system that supplies energy to the building during the day.

Surplus energy is stored in the 40.5kWh battery system to be utilised during low solar output or overnight.