Te Puia — formerly The NZ Maori Arts and Crafts Institute — was created by an act of parliament to protect, preserve and perpetuate Maori arts, crafts and culture through the vehicle of tourism. It is Australasia’s largest cultural tourism business and an icon of New Zealand tourism.
Significantly, Te Puia is required to be self-sufficient and not rely on government support. By managing an effective tourism business it is able to generate significant revenues to fund the cultural development of Maori arts and crafts.
Te Puia’s $23 million redevelopment was the largest ever in New Zealand cultural tourism.
The process for the redevelopment involved many months of meetings with cultural elders, architects, designers, interpretation specialists and, of course, the local people.
The care and attention that was put into this process was recognized on completion, with a national architects’ award for cultural design and an international award for interpreting cultural stories using technologies, presented in Venice.
Te Puia shows Visitor Solutions can help develop well-thought-out project structuring, functional tourism design and site planning solutions which preserve and perpetuate a culture without ever compromising its authenticity.