Te Rito o Manaaki ora

Manaaki Ora Trust’s new counselling facility and head office focussed on solutions that embodied cultural identity. Designed to be warm, welcoming, and non-clinical, the building fosters a sense of safety and inclusivity for both clients and staff.

The exterior’s undulating facade tells the story of the Te Arawa people, their whakapapa and their journey to Aotearoa aboard their waka hourua. The undulations represent the challenges and triumphs of their voyage, while strategically placed apertures draw naturally deep into the interior. The interior planning is anchored by the concept of a vertical Marae the layout centres around the Te Waharoa on the ground floor, a welcoming space that sets the tone for the entire facility. The first floor functions as the Te Whare Wānanga, while the second floor serves as the Te Wāhi o Nga Ringawera. Each level features a unique design language with specific meanings captured through elements like Te Ara Turapa, Poutama, and Te Pātiki . A large central Poutokomanawa, rises through the levels, visually and symbolically connecting the people.

The design promotes an architecture that celebrates cultural identity and well-being.