Dubai: The New Zealand Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is anchored on the indigenous concept of guardianship for land, sea and sky. Organisers said it is based on the Māori world view ‘Kaitiakitanga’, which means stewardship and protection.
“New Zealand’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will tell a story of a nation of innovators who care for people and place. The pavilion’s visitor experience will demonstrate the country’s fresh perspective, independent thinking and creative approach to problem solving,” organisers told Gulf News.
They added: “The idea of caring for people and place unites and connects New Zealand in many ways and in Māori (indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand) culture this is a long-established principle known as kaitiakitanga – the inextricable connection and responsibility between people and the natural world.
Explaining further, they said: “The New Zealand narrative is built on a set of interconnected values – kaitiakitanga, integrity and ingenuity – which guide everything that New Zealanders do. Whether it is innovation, technology, sustainability or food and beverage production, the environmental ethos of kaitiakitanga anchors the New Zealand’s pavilion experience.”
The Whanganui River is the inspiration for New Zealand’s pavilion. It is the country’s third-longest river, located in the North Island of New Zealand and holds a special status to the Māori people. In March 2017, it became the world’s second (after Te Urewera) natural resource to be given its own legal identity – meaning it has rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person; and under the legislation, local communities are obligated to look after the river’s health and wellbeing.
To share an authentic story, the visitor experience at the New Zealand Pavilion is being developed in partnership with Whanganui Iwi, the indigenous tribe of the Whanganui River.
“By looking after the land, sea and sky and caring for people, the environment can be gifted to future generations in a better state than it was found. New Zealand aims to share this ethos at Expo 2020 Dubai to forge new fruitful relationships with businesses, consumers and governments while deepening its current connections,” the pavilion creators noted.
They added: “Visitors will enjoy an immersive experience both inside and on the outside of the pavilion. The pavilion’s façade will move with a pulse, giving the impression that it is alive.
They will also what happens when nature and technology combine for good. Visitors will leave with a greater understanding of Tiaki or care for people and places.