A karakia whakamoemiti (blessing) marked the opening of Tū Waka-Waipapa, the public carpark on the corner of St Asaph Street and Hagley Avenue. The carpark building is now open to the public from today, 21 November. It provides a parking option to the Christchurch community accessing the hospital and Hagley Park. This project is a partnership involving Paenga Kupenga the commercial arm of Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Rūnanga, Rau Paenga (formerly Ōtākaro), Ngāi Tahu Property and Te Whatu Ora Waitaha.
The name Tū Waka-Waipapa was gifted by mana whenua. Christchurch sits within the takiwā of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and was a known mahinga kai (food gathering) location. ‘Tū Waka’ simply translates to a space to stand your vehicle. ‘Waipapa’ refers to a spring along the Ōtākaro-Avon River, towards Carlton Bridge which encompasses the location of this parking building.
A whetū pattern adorns the façade design of the building. Paenga Kupenga Chairman, Barry Bragg says the whetū (star) is of importance to Ngāi Tūāhuriri. “Whetū were used as navigation tools for our people when migrating from Hawaiki, across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa (The Pacific Ocean) to Aotearoa and finally to Te Waipounamu. Whetū are tohu (symbols) used not only for voyaging purposes but also to identify the changing of seasons, the months of the year according to the Maramataka (Māori lunar calendar), and the changes in the environment. All of which are necessary tools to understand the growing and harvesting of kai.”
Ngāi Tahu Property General Manager Blair Forgie says that Tū Waka-Waipapa is an example of a project showcasing the benefits of working in partnership to develop solutions for the community. “We are pleased to be working alongside our partners to deliver this essential infrastructure,” he says. Tū Waka-Waipapa is within walking distance of the Christchurch hospital and Hagley Park. The building has ground floor parking and seven levels above, serviced by lifts for accessibility. There will be a total of 463 parking spaces including mobility parks. Meridian Energy has installed four fast charging stations for electric vehicles. There are also bike racks on the ground floor for cyclists to use for free.
It will be open 24/7 with no limits on parking times. Wilson Parking is contracted to manage the day-to-day operations of Tū Waka-Waipapa. Carpark users will be able to pay for parking at the lobby through pay stations using cash or Eftpos.