The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) today marked the start of construction of a new home for ACC in Hamilton with a karakia service and ceremonial turning of the first sod by Kiingi Tuheitia.
Rukumoana Schaafhausen, Chair of Te Arataura, the Executive Committee of Waikato-Tainui said the timing of the groundbreaking was significant – 25 years since the iwi reached a historic Treaty of Waitangi raupatu settlement with the Crown.
“It’s auspicious to be cementing this partnership with a Crown Entity 25 years on, and on a site with historical associations which are so appropriate as the new home for the work of ACC,” she said.
“As the site of the former maara kai or vegetable garden that fed and provided sustenance for the people, this area has an important history of manaakitanga, of taking care of people and of supporting everyone to have the best possible quality of life, which is exactly what ACC will do,” she said.
ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering said it was exciting to have construction underway on ACC’s new home in the Waikato.
“The Waikato is an essential part of ACC’s operations nationally. With 650 of our people here delivering services to the whole country, our bases in Kirikiriroa-Hamilton provide the lifeblood to Aotearoa. This hub will be the blueprint for a modern, safe and environmentally friendly office space for our people and customers.”
The development will consolidate ACC’s three existing Waikato premises into one, central city location. The four-storey complex will be configured in three pavilions, adding around 8,500 square metres (net lettable area) of office space on the corner of Collingwood and Tristram Streets in the CBD.
TGH commissioned Warren and Mahoney to design the centre, which will be built by Hawkins who have a long history in the Waikato, having been founded in Hamilton 74 years ago. TGH will lease the development to ACC with the underlying whenua continuing to be owned by Waikato-Tainui.
It will be constructed to New Zealand’s current sustainability, seismic and environmentally-sound standards and will meet a four-star standard under NABERSNZ, the system for rating the energy efficiency of office buildings. The building will also have multiple charging stations for electric vehicles – including cars, bikes and scooters. The new ACC centre is targeted for completion in October 2022.