New Zealand Pavilion

Artist's impression of the New Zealand Pavilion at Expo 2020

New Zealand’s Pavilion for Expo 2020 will feature an exhibition experience, corporate hosting facilities, a restaurant and design store.

The Pavilion is designed by Jasmax architects, with Special Group as creative storytellers and Mott MacDonald providing engineering services. 

The pavilion was inspired by waka taonga, receptacles made by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, to safe-guard items of considerable intrinsic value. The beautifully carved containers called 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, we will present the pavilion as our waka taonga - a receptacle for essential aspects of New Zealand’s identity and values. New Zealand’s gift to the world is our kaitiakitanga, our 'Care for People and Place'.

Wooden waka huia or treasure box, finely carved all over with pākati (dog tooth pattern) notches, haehae (parallel grooves), and double rauru spirals.
This waka huia is finely carved all over with pākati (dog tooth pattern) notches, haehae (parallel grooves), and double rauru spirals. - Source: Te Papa Tongarewa.
Wooden waka huia or treasure box, finely carved all over with pākati (dog tooth pattern) notches, haehae (parallel grooves), and double rauru spirals.
The terminal ends of the base have a crouched male figure at one end and a crouched female figure at the other. - Source: Te Papa Tongarewa.