Manea is a new visitor centre in the Northland region which will tell the story of Kupe in a unique and compelling experience which combines live theatre with cinematic effects and projections.

Manea – Footprints of Kupe is a newly completed cultural attraction in the Hokianga which tells the story of Kupe and the settlement of Aotearoa New Zealand by Polynesian people voyaging from Tahiti.

The 550sq.m centre houses a unique theatrical visitor experience which combines live actors with cinematic projections and a variety of special effects, plus a Powhiri space, and multi-media exhibition. The landscaped grounds include a spectacular sculpture garden developed in conjunction with local artists and carvers. 

Fit Architects and Leko Architects partnered on the project, designing the architecture, interior and retail fit-out, exhibition and landscaping.  

The attraction opened to the public in December 2020.

Modelled on a traditional māori whare nui, the main 450sq.m building is steel portal-framed to provide a clear, column free theatre-space. A rusted corten steel rainscreen adorns flanks of the building. Corten features prominently in the landscape design around the site. The separate Arrival building, which houses ticketing, administration, and Retail functions is accessed from the parking level via a dramatic staircase and ramp feature with corten steel planters embedded in the design . The two buildings are connected via a landscaped concourse featuring geometric patterned coloured stone chip paving and covered by a tensile shade-sail structure.