Ngai Tahu's new $85m Christchurch office complex will 'strengthen city's mana'
Ngai Tahu Property's new $85 million Christchurch office development has officially opened, four months after the first tenants moved in.
The Cambridge Tce complex is opposite the Bridge of Remembrance and had been named the Pita Te Hori Centre. It has two five-storey office buildings and a car parking building around a public square.
The northern office building was one of four chosen by the Crown to house public servants as they returned to the central city. The Ministries of Health and Education are tenants.
Private sector office tenants in the complex include financial services firm EY, consulting engineers Aurecon, and insurance company Vero. Inati restaurant, cafe West End Stories, a convenience store and a pharmacy are on the ground floor.
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One and a half floors, with about 2300 square metres of space, remain vacant. Ngai Tahu does not have offices in the complex.
The development includes the West End car parking building, which has 680 car parks and 200 bike spaces and is managed by Wilson Parking.
The land previously held Christchurch's central police headquarters and the old King Edward Barracks. It is near the site of an early pa.
The complex's 1600sqm public courtyard square, called Nga Mara a Te Wera, is accessible from Cambridge Tce and Hereford and Cashel streets.
Features include native and exotic plants, a pounamu touchstone, a foundation stone from the old barracks, a rain garden, a sculpture by Ngai Tahu artist Priscilla Cowie and a work by Auckland sculptor Virginia King commemorating EY staff member Lisa Willems who was killed in the 2011 earthquake.
A $2m heat exchange system heats and cools the buildings by using aquifer water, a system that could be expanded to service nearby sites. The buildings have photovoltaic panels producing electricity.
Christchurch District Energy Scheme general manager Roger Sutton said the office buildings were the most energy efficient of the rebuild.
"It uses about half of the energy that a conventional heating and cooling system would," he said.
"It's probably unique in the world."
Ngai Tahu chairwoman Lisa Tumahai said the development was the jewel in the crown for the iwi, as it re-established its tribal influence and mana on the city. The site had a rich spiritual, historical and cultural significance to Ngai Tahu, she said.
Ngai Tahu Property has more than $500m of assets including residential subdivisions, office buildings, shopping centres and industrial buildings.
Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister and local MP Nicky Wagner was due to officiate at the official opening and has her name inscribed on the opening plaque, but was fogbound in Wellington on Thursday morning so official duties fell to Mayor Lianne Dalziel.