The building of the Pita Te Hori Centre

Posted on 16 August 2018

As part of the Pita Te Hori Centre development in central Christchurch, Ngāi Tahu Property and Hawkins invested in two time-lapse cameras to capture progress of the build.  The many thousands of photos taken over the construction period have now been reviewed and condensed together to tell the wider story of the development and the surrounding area.  The resulting timelapse video has now been completed. 

The Pita Te Hori Centre, located on the former King Edward Barracks site in central Christchurch, comprises of two five-level office buildings, the six-level West End car park and a large landscaped garden called Ngā Mara a Te Wera, or the Garden of Te Wera. The site has strong spiritual, cultural and historical significance to Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Tahu as well as a long history with both the military and the police.

Named to commemorate the first Upoko Rūnanga (council chair) of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, Pita Te Hori was a Ngāi Tahu chief who had strong influence on the area occupied during Ngāi Tahu settlement in pre-European times. The name was gifted to Ngāi Tahu Property by Ngāi Tūāhuriri. 

The names for the office buildings, Iwikau and Te Uritī, were also gifted. Iwikau was the chief of Pakiaka, the main village in Tuahiwi where the chief resided in the nineteenth century. Te Urutī is an earlier name for Tuahiwi.  

The history of the site with the military began in 1864 when the Canterbury Provincial Council set aside part of the land as a parade ground for the volunteer army service. The King Edward Barracks were erected in 1905 and used until the army withdrew from the site in 1993. The Barracks were dismantled in 1997.  The Christchurch Central Police Station was also located on the site for 142 years with the first building built in 1873. Additions were made in 1906 however with an increase in population a new police station was opened in 1973.  This building was demolished by implosion on 31 May 2015.

The Pita Te Hori Centre was officially opened on 10 August, 2017.