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Cambridge Police Hub

Tainui Group Holdings & NZ Police

PAUA Architects were engaged by the New Zealand Police and Tainui Group Holdings to design a new police station and community hub on the corner Fort and Victoria streets in Cambridge.

The brief was to provide a design that reflected the new approach in New Zealand policing and acknowledged the nature of this collaborative partnership between Waikato-Tainui and the NZ Police in this development. 

It was important to incorporate the cultural values of Waikato-Tainui, acknowledging te whenua, ngaa maunga, ngaa wai (awa, roto), ngaa tangata. At the same time, the new building needed to engage and allow for more interaction with the community; as well as fulfilling the regular functions of a police station. 

The primary inspiration for the design comes from water, its importance to life and wellbeing, and the connection to Te Awa o Waikato and Te Koo Utu. 

Senior Architect Richard Mauriohooho devised the concept of the Waka Hourua, double hulled waka, to represent the collaboration of Waikato-Tainui and NZ Police. This idea has formed the basis of the layout of the building. 

The shape and orientation of the plan, make reference to Maungatautari, Pirongia, Maungakawa, Kakepuku, through the alignment of walls and windows.

In keeping with Waikato-Tainui strategies, reuse and local sourcing of materials were a priority.  Some of the materials from the demolished police building have been used within this new building. Recycled rimu and the recycled TG&V flooring is integrated into the reception counter.  Recycled bricks have been used at the threshold of the whaanau room as a contemporary pou, linking to the old building. 

Renata Te Wiata designed the main artwork at the entry wall, which depicts the three main maunga and makes reference to the Patu Paiarehe at Pirongia maunga. 

The two corten steel pou at the right hand side of the front entry have the NZ Police whakataukii engraved in the front face. “E tuu ki te kei o te waka, kia paakia koe e ngaa ngaru o te waa.” (Stand at the stern of the canoe and feel the spray of the future biting at your face.)

A metaphorical korowai wraps around the outside of the building, representing protection, security and safety. The korowai is articulated through the hinuera stone veneer wall design and the brick veneer cladding. A simplified interpretation of the ‘niho taniwha’ pattern has been used to form the basis of the pattern in the Hinuera stone.

Completed August 2022.


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