Te Wananga-o-Raukawa, the Institute of Maori Advancement in Otaki is under construction, due to be completed early 2012. Focusing on developing young maori they wanted their new meeting room to have it’s own unique mana.

Kakano meaning ‘seed pod’ was appropriate and Stanley Joinery were chosen to bring this project to fruition.




As meetings will be held inside Kakano to represent a new beginning; it was designed as a seed pod shape, air conditioned, sound proofed, to sit independently inside the main foyer. This called for the project to be built offsite.

It was transported 460km to location and on arrival split in half, enabling the pieces to be inserted through a large window space (with 200mm clearance). It was then reassembled in its designated space and the exterior lining fitted.

The Stanley team embraced this challenge, first building a prototype to brainstorm the best way to construct this unique project. A two dimensional construction plan was extracted from a three dimensional CAD design so panels could be individually manufactured. The interior and exterior of the Kakano are each made up of 268 triangular panels, every one different and fitted together with a ‘tenth of a degree’ of accuracy.

A Computerised Numeric Cutter (CNC) was used to create each panel with the accuracy of half a millimetre.

The team came up with innovative solutions to the complex build and had to counteract the effects of gravity on the structure during the construction process, as the structure is only sound and capable of holding its weight once complete.The finished product is one of exceptional character, clever workmanship and creativity. With a TVNZ show ‘The Art of the Architects’ following its progress; Kakano will star on their new series planned for 2012.

Project Details

Contract Range:
$200,000 - $250,000

Te Wananga-o-Raukawa
Institute of Maori Development

Completion Date:
November 2011

Stanley Project Manager:
Craig Davison

Principal’s Project Manager:
Tennent + Brown

Hugh Tennent - Tennent + Brown

Alistair Cattanach - Dunning Thornton