Dawn blessing for Palmerston North’s only IL4 office building

Over one hundred dignitaries and guests attended a dawn blessing in Victoria Ave this morning to officially open Te Ao Nui, Palmerston North’s only IL4 office building.

Te Ao Nui is an investment property of MWRC Holdings, a subsidiary company of Horizons Regional Council.

MWRC Holdings and Horizons chair Bruce Gordon says the blessing, conducted by Rangitāne to awaken the building’s mauri (life force), was an important milestone for the property that has taken 18 months to complete. 

“As planned, Inland Revenue will be the first of Te Ao Nui’s tenants, with over 200 staff working from the ground and first floor by the end of the month,” says Mr Gordon.

“Following the signing of a Development Agreement, the Holdings team have worked closely with Inland Revenue’s project team to ensure that the building not only meets their needs but has also been completed on time. 

“Their tenancy recognises how local and central government agencies can work together. Providing a resilient place for Inland Revenue shows how our region truly offers a great place to live, work and play.”

Inland Revenue’s deputy commissioner Sharon Thompson, who was at this morning’s ceremony, says today marks an important time for their Palmerston North team.

“We were at our previous site for over 25 years, until we had to leave abruptly in June when the building was found to be earthquake prone. Since then we have continued to serve this community while working in quickly established temporary locations,” says Mrs Thompson.

“Our new office will provide a thriving front of house and a contact centre, serving locals and wider New Zealand. Technical expertise supporting individuals, families and businesses to meet their tax obligations is also something we’ll do from this building.”

Mr Gordon says Te Ao Nui has been constructed to meet the most stringent seismic performance measures and NABERS New Zealand 4 energy efficient rating.

“The building’s features include a high thermal performing building envelope, solar assisted water heating, electric vehicle charging points, and sophisticated heating and cooling systems,” says Mr Gordon.

“The third floor has the capacity to exist off the grid for 48 hours, including its own supply of drinking water, wastewater storage, and power to support Horizons Regional Council and Palmerston North City Council’s civil defence operations.

“Tech company Objective are another confirmed tenant, and we are confident that once Inland Revenue occupies the first two floors, the street side café and retail areas on the ground floor will be occupied.

“The name Te Ao Nui signals a place where we are bound together, for the people, for the environment, and for the world in which we live. We’re all now looking forward to seeing this place come to life and to help serve our communities.”