11 December 2020

Final blessing for Wynyard Edge Alliance works on the waterfront

Final blessing for Wynyard Edge Alliance works on the waterfront

Final blessing for Wynyard Edge Alliance works on the waterfront

An accumulation of many years of hard work was commemorated on the morning of 7 December, with a mana whenua-led ceremony to mark the completion of two places known as ‘breakwater one’ and ‘Silo Park extension’, as well as the connecting roads in between.

The last of the America’s Cup infrastructure sites to be completed, the morning ceremony signified the end of Panuku working closely with Wynyard Edge Alliance to deliver the extensive infrastructure works required to make the upcoming 36th America’s Cup Event a success.

It was a fitting sunrise for the occasion with a stunning sky of purple hues framing the city skyline and greeting the group as they walked over breakwater one.

The ceremony had iwi representatives from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Te Ākitai Waiohua, Ngaati Whanaunga, and Ngāti Paoa in attendance – alongside mana whenua-appointed artists Reuben Kirkwood and Tessa Harris.

The mahi toi of artist Reuben Kirkwood is visible along both breakwater one and two, along Hamer Street and within Silo Park extension.

Reuben’s mahi was led by the whakatauākī ‘Nga waka o Taikehu, me he kāhui kātaha kapi tai’- ‘The Canoes of Taikehu, like unto a shoal of herrings filling the sea’. This whakatauākī likens the once numerous waka on the Waitematā to a great shoal of fish. From this, three concept designs were developed: ngā whakarare tīponapona, puhoro kāhui and te waka o rangi whetū.

The puhoro kāhui design has been used on breakwater one and two to represent the ebb and flow of water. The te waka o rangi whetū design has been developed for Silo Park extension in the form of the stars used to guide the waka hourua at sea, and the ngā whakarare tīponapona design represents the lashing and binding of the knots used for waka.

Artist Tessa Harris worked collaboratively with landscape architects (LandLAB), Eke Panuku, and Wynyard Edge Alliance (WEA) to develop the design concept for Te Nukuao.

Te Nukuao explores the narrative, form, and symbolic presence of waka hourua sails as a design driver and reference to the history of Wynyard Quarter as a 'water space' pre-reclamation. The waka-inspired shade structure serves as a cultural marker for mana whenua within the Silo Park extension and offers shelter from the elements.

The design of Silo Park extension was led by LandLAB and acknowledges the context of the site within the Waitematā and retains traces of the site’s industrial history, supporting the Wynyard Quarter’s working waterfront identity.

Retaining the tanks within the space contributes to the precinct’s authentic industrial character and acknowledges the sites previous use, whilst introducing people-friendly features such as lighting and greenery.

At the end of the ceremony, both Tessa and Reuben shared the stories of their works and following their kōrero the group gathered for a photo under Te Nukuao within the new public space.

Over kai at Humble Canteen, speeches were shared by Ian Wheeler, Chief Operating Officer at Panuku, and Fraser Wyllie from the Wynyard Edge Alliance board. Both shared their gratitude for the work of all and spoke to the outstanding success of everyone’s combined efforts to achieve such a result.

The rate and pace of the change we have seen over the last two years is impressive and a credit to all – it’s amazing to see these sites transform from industrial to public spaces for people to love,” said Ian Wheeler. “Thank you to everyone for all your amazing work, you should be really proud.”

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