Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects - Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga

Maori Women's Development Inc.


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MWDI is an economic development agency for Maori women and their whanau. The organisation required new offices, meeting spaces, training facilities and a communal kitchen and dining room, and it was crucial that our design solutions reflected the organisation’s values. The decorative panels reference traditional tukutuku panels found on the walls of wharenui, yet are generic enough not to reference any particular iwi, and the geometric pattern incorporates MWDI’s ‘corporate’ colours.

…a testament to the architects’ clear understanding and interpretation of the client’s requirements,” NZIA Awards Jury, 2013

Awards: NZIA Local Award 2013

We kept the floors, walls and ceilings as neutral elements, with highlights of colour and pattern provided by a decorative screen wall, fabrics and MWDI’s own artworks. Natural daylight was also key to our design. The deep floor plate meant that the central part of the space is some distance from the main windows which front the street. The use of glass, translucent polycarbonate wall cladding, and reducing the height of the central screen wall, have allowed daylight to seep into these inner areas.

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