Winery has a natural symbolism

MP Su'a William Sio joins in a series where notable Aucklanders nominate their favourite buildings built since 2000.

Su'a William Sio says the Villa Maria winery in Mangere is a simple, embracing kind of building. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Su'a William Sio says the Villa Maria winery in Mangere is a simple, embracing kind of building. Photo / Sarah Ivey

It's a simple, embracing kind of building set in an amphitheatre which gives it a natural ambience.

Because I see things in a symbolic way, it symbolises so many things. There is history behind the land it is situated on. It has links to tangata whenua and right next to it are the Otuataua Stonefields.

It is here in Mangere, but when you come here it just feels like you are somewhere else with its big expanses of green space in a peaceful setting. It gives you a feeling of another world.

Architecturally, it has the elements of concrete, cedar and steel reflecting the natural environment and wine-making process.

It is not over-powering, so it invites people, and is designed in such a way - with meeting areas - that it can have several events happening at the same time.

Because it is in Mangere, the gateway to the nation, it symbolises our internationalism and an internationally renowned brand, Villa Maria - probably the country's most awarded wine company of the past 30 years.

THE POLITICIAN

Su'a William Sio is the Labour MP for Mangere. Born in Samoa, he migrated with his family to NZ in 1969 and settled in Otara. He cut his political teeth on the Manukau City Council, rising up the ranks to become deputy mayor. He entered Parliament off the Labour list in April 2008 and convincingly beat disgraced MP Taito Phillip Field to win the Mangere seat six months later. Last year, he sat on the special Auckland governance select committee hearing public views on the Super City. Su'a William Sio, whose matai title is from Matatufu village in Upolu, lives in Mangere with his wife and young family.

HE NOMINATES

The Villa Maria winery in Mangere, nestled against the rim of an extinct volcano near Auckland Airport. The state-of-the-art complex for large-scale wine production was designed by Archimedia and includes a restaurant, tasting room, conference and wedding facilities. The 42ha landscaped site planted in vines and groves of native and exotic trees is used for outdoor concerts and will host Irish pop artist and boyband Boyzone member Ronan Keating next month. The winery opened in February 2005 and has won two New Zealand Institute of Architects Resene local awards.

- NZ Herald

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