Construction starts on Birkenhead's new destination

Last Updated : 21 Oct 2015
Construction starts on Birkenhead's new destination

Kaipātiki Local Board is pleased to announce the start of construction for Kaimataara o Wai Manawa, an exciting new destination destined for the heart of Birkenhead.

Three existing retail buildings located between 35-41 Birkenhead Avenue will be removed and replaced with a split-level public space and lookout, and a café.

Kaimataara o Wai Manawa will overlook Le Roy’s Bush, the public reserve that stretches all the way from Birkenhead Town Centre down to Little Shoal Bay Reserve.

Wai Manawa is the name used by Māori to identify the stream and gully system of Le Roys Bush. The full name Kaimatara o Wai Manawa translated into English, means 'The Lookout of Wai Manawa'.

Kaipātiki Local Board Chair, Kay McIntyre, says: “Kaimataara o Wai Manawa is the name gifted by mana whenua for this special place.

“When completed, it will enable people to watch over Wai Manawa - the stream and gully system running through Le Roy’s Bush. 

“Kaimataara is an old Maori word with a dual meaning – describing the purpose of the space as a lookout and from the observers’ perspective, means to be alert, watchful and vigilant,” she says.

The Kaipātiki Local Board and Auckland Council’s City Transformation team have worked closely with mana whenua to develop the new name, design elements and some environmentally friendly initiatives.

One such initiative is the installation of a stormwater reuse system. This involves collecting water from the café roof for placement in storage tanks beneath the public space for reuse in the café bathrooms.

This initiative will significantly reduce the volume of water going into the stormwater system and reduce the required water supply for the site by approximately 77 per cent, or 105,000 litres per year, benefiting both the local and wider natural environment.

Mana whenua artist, Reuben Kirkwood, has been engaged to introduce design elements that interpret and reflect the meaning of Kaimataara o Wai Manawa. This could include a motif design on the bleachers between the split-level public space and lookout.

Kaimataara o Wai Manawa is one of a number of projects being delivered as part of wider programme of works in the Birkenhead Town Centre. You can read about this and other projects on our project page.

Construction of Kaimataara o Wai Manawa starts in early October and is expected to be completed by late June 2016.

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