Te Wharewaka o Poneke

Wellington Waterfront
Wellington, Wellington
The Wharewaka (House for canoes) on this site showcases and shelters Te Raukura and other waka. A new new Karaka grove has been planted next to the site of this 2011 architectural and social waterfront success which also marks the location of the original Te Aro Pa.

The structure is overlaid with an exterior korowai (cloak) – an outer layer covering the body of the building, draping down its sides in forms symbolic of waka sails. The Design was by Architecture +. See the link to their site for great photos

The lower ground floor includes a café open to the public and with an outdoor area sheltered from the wind. An upper ground floor is used for for hui and functions.

Two carved waka, painted in original colours, are on display. No nails or glue were used in construction; they are lashed with modern cordage in the traditional way.

Though Te Wharewaka o Poneke was also given the name Raukura at it's opening, a special name for all Wellington Iwi and the title of the waka, it is affectionately known by most as simply Wharewaka.

At the front of the building is a group of statues designed by Christchurch sculptor William Trethewey for the 1940 New Zealand Centennial Exhibition held at Rongotai, Wellington. The group includes a bronze statue of Kupe, the discoverer of Wellington Harbour, his wife Hine te Aparangi, and tohunga (ritual expert) Pekahourangi as they sight Aotearoa.
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Note: Location is approximate.


  • Wharewaka
  • The Café and the Lagoon
    The Café and the Lagoon
  • Kupe Group in front of Wharewaka
    Kupe Group in front of Wharewaka
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