Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei

Embracing collaboration, manaakitanga and taonga

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The new workplace for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust and its commercial subsidiary Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa in Auckland is a unique space that not only accommodates the needs of the organisation but also allows for the space to be shared with whānau.

The brief called for a functional, high performing and agile workplace. A space where the collective affairs of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are looked after by its two entities located adjacent to each other at Mahuhu Crescent. Previously Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s operations were located across from each other down Dockside Lane and both had two separate floors which lacked a sense of place, creating a disconnect between the two entities and the collective work they do for their whānau. 

The Whai Rawa side of the workplace is designed with flexibility in mind. An open plan agile office, led by technology, facilitates collaboration with external partners through highly connected meeting rooms, and provides quiet spaces for concentration and focus when required. 

This is complemented by the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust side of the workplace which focused on creating a space for the wider community to gather, express manaakitanga offering shared space to cook and eat together. This multi-use space is semi-open and separated by glass partitions, providing an acoustic barrier between the lounge and the rest of the Trust's workplace, which includes open plan workstations and meeting rooms located on the perimeter.

Key design considerations included creating a space that could be filled with art drawn from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s ringa toi (creatives). A neutral colour palette with natural undertones, natural timbers and earthy colours were used to connect the workplace back to the land and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei’s connection with it. A considered use of colour, through paint and acoustic panelling, highlights the design story and complements a collection of taonga thoughtfully curated by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei uri (descendant) Dave Harriman.

Client Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
Sector Head Office
Location Auckland, New Zealand
Status Complete
Size 230 sqm
People 40
Services Strategy, Design, Delivery