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New look for Gisborne Airport

Gisborne Airport has a new look, with a tahuhu carving installed as part of phase one of the terminal development.

Derek Lardelli designed the tahuhu, or spine, that runs the length of the terminal’s ceiling. The CNC computer controlled carving on plywood panels was fabricated by Makers of Architecture, developed in partnership with consultant Karl Johnstone and Tennent Brown Architects.

“The tahuhu represents Manaia, the mana of the people. It carries the aspirations of the people,” he said at yesterday’s opening ceremony and blessing.

Regional infrastructure company Eastland Group operates Gisborne Airport on behalf of owners Gisborne District Council, and is building the new terminal in two stages while keeping the airport operating.

“It’s an honour to celebrate the opening of the first stage of our new whare,” Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said yesterday.

“And it’s an honour to partner with Ngai Tawhiri, who have mana whenua over the area.”

The new terminal is being funded by Eastland Group ($2 million), their shareholder, regional development trust Trust Tairawhiti ($5 million), and the Provincial Growth Fund ($5.5 million).

Trust Tairawhiti chairman Dr Paul Reynolds highlighted the collaborative approach to develop a modernised terminal.

“It will be a powerful enabler for economic growth in the region.”

Thelma Karaitiana of Ngai Tawhiri said it was new for the hapu to be involved in such a major development.

“To achieve meaningful collaboration with Eastland Group has required layers of cultural responsiveness, very good communications and creativity.”

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz joined the other speakers in thanking everyone involved for their shared vision.

Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones has previously visited the terminal to see the progress and yesterday said it was great to see the project hit a major milestone. “This will make a real difference in Tairawhiti.”

AIRPORT OF THE FUTURE: Air NZ staff and commuters walk beneath the tahuhu, installed along the roof of the new terminal at Gisborne Airport. Picture by Strike Photography