10 Mar 2014

Living building to open

11:34 am on 10 March 2014

Bay of Plenty iwi of Ngai Tuhoe will on Saturday open the country's first so-called living building, which uses solar power and has its own natural air-conditioning system.

The Tuhoe headquarters is in the township of Taneatua, near Whakatane, and 3000 people are expected to attend the official opening.

Tuhoe leader Tamati Kruger says the new space will be used by the community, not just the 20 staff of the post-settlement entity, Te Uru Taumatua.

About a third of the building will be the headquarters, while the rest of the space is occupied by a hall, cafe, library and archival centre.

Earth bricks are used in the new building to trap heat during the day, and it also features a water recycling system.

A family festival will be held in the afternoon after the opening.