New specialist building will house New Zealand’s heritage

New Zealand’s most prized taonga or treasures that tell so much of our national story are a step closer to their new home as construction on a building of national significance in Wellington got under way today.

Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti was at the turning of the sod at the Aitken Street site this morning.

“This new building will provide a state-of-the-art archives repository and specialist facilities for Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga Archives New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa National Library of New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision,” Jan Tinetti said.

“This will be a place where our nation’s taonga can be safe, a destination for children and whānau and where New Zealanders can better reconnect with their stories and heritage.

“Funding of $46.6 million in operating spending over four years and $146 million in capital was allocated in Budget 2020 to proceed with the Archives development, the design for the National Library alterations and the purchase of land and design for a new shared storage facility in Taitoko Levin.

“Taranaki Whānui Te Āti Awa representatives have worked in partnership to co-design this building with a te ao Māori world view, connecting the building to the celebrated kainga (home) of Pipitea, the ancestral home of hapū of Te Āti Awa.

“Archives New Zealand has never had a national purpose-built facility before. We can say with confidence that best practice standards have been applied to this specialist building.

“It’s our aspiration that staff and visitors will feel a sense of pride and place when they walk through the doors, knowing that our nation’s taonga and people are being well cared for,” Jan Tinetti said.