Ngutu - Te Aika

Outside the new Te Pae Convention Centre, you can find a ceremonial sculpture stretching over its entrance.


The weaving shape is a traditional Nga Ngutu of local origins. Artists Rachel Rakena and Simon Kaan produced the design concept, while Signtech developed the cladding idea.

We knew that a complex shape like this would benefit in being covered, as it would allow movement of the entire structure - for instance in the event of an earthquake or strong gusts. The structure deforms 300mm under its own weight.

The artists determined the shape of the cladding, with every panel being different to one another. The side panel boards had to be measured by Signtech due to the deformation under load.

The interior weaving of the cladding acknowledges the role of women in maintaining the whakapapa, while the exterior, is a reference to the white feathers of the Kotuku, a good omen.

The changing light introduces different patterns on the surface. Led lighting along the edges enhances the night appearance. This sculpture welcomes warmth, mana and protection.

Take a glimpse for yourself the next time you’re at Te Pae Convention Centre.