New Concepts For Te Mokai

by Tracy Osborne on 22 Mar 2014

By Wiremu Puke

The recent visit by architectural students went well.
Whanau members talked with members of the group, sharing their thoughts about the kitchen and wharekai, and putting them on record. Many changes to the building code since 2010, have made previous plans for the rebuilding of Te Mokai redundant.
Mano submitted a sketch of her own layout of the kitchen and described the flow of visitors through the wharekai. Students then measured the area proposed for development. The main floor frames and walls of the wharekai were inspected and found to require attention.
There are opportunities ahead for whanau to have further input into these design discussions. Once conceptual plans are drawn by the students, whanau will have the opportunity to view and to comment on them at a group showing of this work to be advertised.

Below is a summary of points covered during the visit:

. Affordability and types of materials
. To be able to make good use of the sun in winter, to keep the wharekai warm and for manuhiri
to sit in also
. Would like a unique wharekai
. Would like a wharekai that tells the story of Ngati Wairere and our traditional foods.
. Eco friendly with solar power to keep electricity bills down
. Good design of kitchen and storage space
. Unique design of the wharekai, one not to overpower Tuturuapapa Kamutu
. Easy maintenance
. Easy access and exit
. Easy access to drainage and power cables
. Making use of waste water
. Toilets for visitors and kitchen staff
. Kitchen to be 2 in 1, that is - one small kitchen for little events and one large for big gatherings
. To be able to sit 400- 500
. Be attractive from the road so community groups might wish to hire it for events
. Be able to comply to the strict food and health safety standards
. Making our dining hall attractive with an art works theme of Ngati Wairere traditional
foods, taonga hanging from the rafters, stained glass with kowhaiwhai, good lighting
. Building a kauta behind the new wharekai so we can cook over a fire and use a hangi area
when needed.
. A suitable turning bay for trucks and easy access for loading and off loading tables, chairs and other items

After the visit to our marae, the group visited Te Kauri Marae, Huntly to view the kitchen layout and wharekai there.

All up it was a positive visit and the whanau who were able to attend at Hukanui felt good about being involved.

If the whanau feel there are other marae kitchens the students should visit, please let me (Wiremua Puke) know by emailing -

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