Congratulations Pūkaha !

Published 19 Jul 2023

On Friday, the 14th Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre opened Te Whare Taiao O Manukura – a new environment and ecology education centre. The official opening was attended by around 250 people and coincided with the Matariki celebrations. Te Whare Taiao o Manukura is Pūkaha’s brand new environment and education centre.

The new whare will be a place for tamariki (children) to come and learn about the great forest of Whātonga and all its inhabitants, while staying in the onsite accommodation. It will also cater facilities for schools, community and business organisations. It is expected that Te Whare Taiao o Manukura will bring more visitors, guests, students & tourists to Pūkaha and the region.

The day was packed with activities, starting with a Pōwhiri that welcomed guests onto Te Whare Wānanga o Whātonga (the new wharenui), which was beautifully adorned with carvings made by Pūkaha’s onsite carvers.

During the opening, speeches were led by Kaumātua Mike Kawana. The honourable Minister Kieran McAnulty unveiled a plaque and a number of speeches were held including by Tararua District Council Mayor Tracey Collis, Pūkaha Board Representatives Mavis Mullins and Tini Te Tau, and Lean MacDonell of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Stirring Kapa Haka performances were led by Rangitāne, as this new whare is a place of significance for both Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua & Rangitāne o Wairarapa.

In the afternoon the doors of Te Whare Taiao o Manukura were opened up to give the community a first look at the brand new facility.

Groups interested in visiting Te Whare will have to book in advance, more details can be found here:  Te Whare Taiao o Manukura | Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre (

Marae welcome

Tangata Whenua

Kapa haka

Kapa haka