Introducing The Pā
Māu, māku, mā tātou katoa

The Pā, the landmark new building at the heart of the University of Waikato campus is now open. It's development reflects the University of Waikato's commitment to an integrated and accessible campus, and to a campus experience that includes social interaction, hospitality and culture.

The Pā is the new centre of the Hamilton campus for students, staff and the wider community. It is a unique destination for Kirikiriroa Hamilton, Waikato and the world.

It incorporates a new main entrance to the campus, a student hub (including food outlets and social learning spaces) and a new University marae. The Pā will strengthen the overall capability of the campus for University and community events and activities.

Project timeline

  • Demolition and site preparation: Summer 2019/2020
  • Construction: March 2020 – Summer 2022
  • Opened: Monday 10 July.

The Pā was opened by Kīngi Tūheitia on 10 July 2023.

Inside Te Āhurutanga, The Student Hub, during The Pā opening.

Conceptualising The Pā

He piringa, he āhurutanga

'The Pā' is a reference to the concept of community and location, signalling a concentration of strategically located and designed buildings that provide for the people within.

The Pā site is on a special part of campus, a prime location on Hillcrest Road, creating a welcoming and vibrant core facility on the Hamilton campus.

Features and design

The design of The Pā incorporated input from students, staff and community, with advisory groups each having opportunities to work with the architects.

The Pa view on arrival

Ko Te Tangata: The University Wharenui

He mana, he manaaki
Hei pupuru i te mana o Te Whare Wānanga

A new University wharenui, Ko Te Tangata, is located in the heart of The Pā, providing inspiration for the overarching shape and form of the complex.

The name of the wharenui, Ko Te Tangata, is carried over from the University's motto. With a rich history and origin story of its own, the motto is given new life and meaning in The Pā.  Supported by the main University reception, a generous ātea/courtyard and the central campus walkway, the wharenui defines the University’s new face to Hillcrest Road.

The waharoa

Te Āhurutanga: The Student Hub

Hei āhurutanga mō ngā ākonga

Designed as a central meeting space for students Te Āhurutanga honours the history of the site as a student safe-haven and as a cultural centre and gathering site for the University community.

Features of Te Āhurutanga include:

  • Plenty of space for socialising, breakouts and meetings, including moveable furniture
  • A generous and versatile stage and 15-metre long screen for everyday use as well as University ceremonies including graduation, conferences and community activities
  • Food and beverage area catering for a variety of tastes
  • Pūtikitiki - a student space for kaupapa, tikanga and te reo Māori

Inside The Hub

Community and leadership spaces

He wāhi whai pūkenga, he wāhi toi, mō te hapori

The Pā will also be utilised for large events including student welcomes and performances, conferences and other celebrations and activities. The concept and design bring together:

  • A main University reception and executive offices
  • A refurbished space for Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao: Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies
  • Multi-function rooms for teaching and conference activities
  • Spacious courtyards, easy walkways and connection points

The interior hub view towards FMIS

Improving campus connectivity

Hei tūhonohono i te papa wānanga

The Pā creates connections across the Hamilton campus, closely aligning with Te Manawa (The Student Centre), and lecture theatres in S and L Blocks.

These connections, including a new lift system, improve mobility access in the heart of the campus.

The Pa view across the plaza

Me he pātai? Have a question?

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