First look at New Zealand pavilion for Expo 2020

New Zealand's pavilion concept design in black, featuring fernmark and lights

2 May, 2018: The concept design for New Zealand’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai has been revealed.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters showed a model of the pavilion to the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at a meeting in Wellington today.

New Zealand’s pavilion will be located in Expo 2020’s Sustainability District and tell the story of New Zealand’s kaitiakitanga, our care for people and place.

The 2,000 square metre pavilion is being designed by a team led by Jasmax architects and features an exhibition space, restaurant, design store and hosting facilities.

The pavilion was inspired by waka taonga, receptacles made by Māori to safe-guard items of considerable intrinsic value.

The beautifully carved containers, which included waka huia and papahou are important cultural symbols for protection and the maintenance of values and practices. They were gifted to strengthen relationships, create new partnerships and maintain traditions and stories from one generation to the next.

The architectural concept uses the waka taonga as a way of bringing people together and it reflects the Connecting Minds, Creating the Future theme of Expo 2020. At Expo 2020, we will present our waka taonga, the pavilion is a receptacle for essential aspects of New Zealand’s identity and values. New Zealand’s gift to the world is our kaitiakitanga, our unique approach to sustainability, our care for people and place and for future generations.

The United Arab Emirates will host 180 countries and 25 million visitors to Dubai for a six month World Expo from October 2020. Participating nations will showcase their economic and trade capabilities alongside their culture and values.

The New Zealand Government has committed $53 million over the next four years to design, construct, operate and promote New Zealand’s presence at Expo 2020.

Comment and imagery

Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s Commissioner General to Expo 2020, is available for interview. 

Images of the Expo 2020 site are available on request.


Nicola Garvey, Head of Communications and Engagement, Expo 2020
+64 21 195 2729

Artist's impression of aerial view over Dubai Expo 2020
Expo 2020  
New Zealand is taking part in the next World Expo, in Dubai.

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