Te Wānanga Taiao
A development history
About Te Wānanga Taiao
This is Pūkaha’s visionary project to create an Environmental Education Centre to inform people about their natural world.
Through education it is hoped to change the way people think and act. By doing so we aim to influence the outcomes for native wildlife and our natural environment.
The ultimate goal of Te Wānanga Taiao is to help all New Zealanders see the value in protecting and ensuring Aotearoa’s native flora and fauna for future generations to enjoy.
We can’t do it alone. We will need some help, and we hope you’ll come join us on the journey.
For more info on this project please download the Pūkaha Wānanga Prospectus 2023 PDF.
Mā te huruhuru ka rere te manu.
‘Adorn the bird with feathers so it may soar’
Make a donation towards Te Wānanga Taiao today!
Ngā mihi nui
Thank you to the many people, businesses and supporters from within the community that have contributed to date:
We are so grateful for your support. He waka eke noa – we are all in this together!
- Site Preparation 100% 100%
- Building Construction 99% 99%
- Fitout 21% 21%
Roof joins together the meeting house, accommodation and kitchen spaces.
Te Wānanga starting to take shape as the roof joins together the meeting house, accommodation and kitchen spaces.
On target for a June opening date!
JNL Ambasador Peter Wolfkamp visits Te Wānanga
JNL Ambasador Peter Wolkamp visits Te Wānanga to meet builders and check out build progress.
Westpac NZ Ambassador Richie McCaw visits the build site
Westpac NZ Ambassador Richie McCaw visits the build site at Pūkaha community Open Day in September 2022
Apprentice impresses with engineering skills while working on Wānanga
JULY 2022: Kanesha Waldron, an engineering apprentice, fabricated and welded floor bearers for the Wānanga project.
Read about her engineering mahi and connection to Pūkaha … here …
Roof and walls go up
During April and May 2022 the roof and walls were quickly erected taking advantage of the sunny Autumn days.
The LVL framing has been part funded by JNL.
The dedication of Masterton-based Quality Builders has been outstanding throughout the project.
What are people saying?
What are tangata (people) saying about Te Wānanga Taiao.
Dr Ruud Kleinpaste (AKA The Bugman)
(AKA The Bugman)
“It’s become quite obvious that we humans have been on a path of disconnect with nature. Now it is time to re-connect. In terms of Education, let’s explore the lessons Nature can teach us to live on our planet with grace, elegance and understanding. Let’s see if we can become a “welcome species” again and learn from Nature, in Nature. In my opinion, Pūkaha can be the best outdoor classroom in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Board Co-Chair and Member, Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre
“Pūkaha is a treasure for all of Aotearoa and it is an honour to be a part of the organisation at such an important time in its history. As a community we have the opportunity to create a very significant legacy for many generations to come, I encourage all locals to get in behind this ambitious project.”
General Manager, Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre
“Pūkaha is making a major investment in the expansion of its education programmes to increase its reach to a greater number of schools. This includes new interactive learning programmes for students at Pūkaha and in the classroom as well as providing support for teaching staff. Te Wānanga Taiao is more than just a building. It incorporates the development and delivery of environmental education programmes and is a place of special significance to Rangitāne. It will be adorned with carvings currently being completed by a team of Rangitāne carvers who are based at Pūkaha.”
Tararua District Mayor
“Te Wānanga Taiao will be an exciting and valuable addition to Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre. It provides a unique cultural visitor experience to the Tararua District and adds to the pride and aroha we already have for Pūkaha. We are excited to share the benefits to the community that Te Wānanga Taiao will bring as an educational and accommodation centre. The future opportunities are truly exciting.”