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The concept design for New Zealand’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has been revealed, and it reflects the overall theme of the Expo.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters recently showed a model of the pavilion to the UAE Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at a meeting in Wellington.

New Zealand’s pavilion will be located in Expo 2020’s Sustainability District and tell the story of New Zealand’s kaitiakitanga, ‘our care for people and place’.  

The 2,000 square metre pavilion is being designed by a team led by Jasmax architects and features an exhibition space, restaurant, design store and hosting facilities.

The pavilion was inspired by waka taonga, receptacles made by Māori to safe-guard items of considerable intrinsic value.  

The beautifully carved containers, which included waka huia and papahou are important cultural symbols for protection and the maintenance of values and practices. They were gifted to strengthen relationships, create new partnerships and maintain traditions and stories from one generation to the next.  

The architectural concept uses the waka taonga as a way of bringing people together and it reflects the ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ theme of Expo 2020.  
At Expo 2020, the country will present its waka taonga, the pavilion is a receptacle for essential aspects of New Zealand’s identity and values.  

The United Arab Emirates will host 180 countries and 25 million visitors to Dubai for a six month World Expo from October 2020. Participating nations will showcase their economic and trade capabilities alongside their culture and values.  

The New Zealand Government has committed $53 million over the next four years to design, construct, operate and promote New Zealand’s presence at Expo 2020. 

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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