Te Puia is the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute which is recognised under its own legislation. Te Puia operates a Maori carving and weaving school (wananga) and also is a major tourist attraction for the North Island. The 60ha site is geothermally active and includes the famous Pōhutu Geyser. Tourist activities also include cultural performances.
Cheal has worked on multiple planning projects with Te Puia over several years. Cheal, in conjunction with Lara Burkhardt, undertook successful submissions and appeals to the Rotorua District Plan Review relating to the Outstanding Natural Feature and Landscape (ONFL) and geothermal provisions that affect the Te Puia site. Extensive negotiations with the District Council officers were undertaken and the provisions were amended to provide Te Puia with the ability to achieve their development goals whilst protecting the values of the ONFL.
In addition Cheal has also provided surveying, geotechnical and civil engineering services for various Te Puia projects. Cheal gained a non-notified resource consent for the construction of the new wananga facilities at Te Puia prior to the resolution of the District Plan appeal. At that time, the District Plan didn’t provide for any permitted activities on the site and consenting was further complicated by heritage features, geothermal features, waahi tapu and archaeological sites, the National Environmental Standard for soil contamination and the ONFL.
More recently in 2018, Cheal undertook the geotechnical reporting and land use consent relating to the replacement kiwi house proposed at Te Puia.