1 Oct 2013

Mangere Pa site suggested for tourism centre

7:20 pm on 1 October 2013

A proposed Maori and Pacific tourism centre would be better suited to a Pa site in Mangere, an Auckland Council candidate says.

The Kiwa Working Group wants to develop a multi-million dollar venture on the waterfront to showcase both cultures.

But Mana Movement Manukau ward candidate Joe Trinder said Mangere was close to the international airport and it would make better sense as a location.

He said rebuilding the Pa site would cost thousands, not millions, and would create jobs and vibrancy in Mangere.

The site could be used for kapa haka performances and mock Pa site invasion battles, and the other Pacific cultures could also showcase their heritage there, Mr Trinder said.

The waterfront concept was good but Maori did not live in high-tech waterfront buildings in the 1800s.

Kiwa Working Group spokesperson Mark Graham said Auckland needed to have a point of difference, considering it had the highest population of Maori and Pacific people nationwide.

The group had had informal talks with the Auckland Council about the project, which Mr Graham hoped will be as iconic as the Sydney Opera house - if it got off the ground.