A concept for a multi-storey office overlooking Ohinemutu has been unveiled as part of a competition to design a new Te Arawa Lakes Trust headquarters in Rotorua.

But trust chief executive Gareth Jones has stressed they are still in the early stages of any developments and no firm decisions have been made.

"By no means has this been approved, due diligence is required. We are just looking at our options and saw this competition as a way to see what could be created that fit in with our ideals."

The architectural design for a new Te Arawa Lakes Trust head office was presented yesterday at the 2016 Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber conference, held at Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

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The winning concept illustrated a three-storey wood building on Lake Rd, between the Lake House and Third Place Cafe. It was designed and submitted by local firm, Darryl Church Architecture. The design featured solar panels, hydroponics outside the building and rainwater catchers.

"It is a concept that came out of an idea of what we could possibly be using that space for. It is not a definite, before anything is set in stone we would go to iwi and if they said they didn't like the idea, that would be that.

"We were really impressed by Darryl Church and the opportunity to do something positive, however this is so early in terms of any type of commitment around the building. We need to do due diligence and also get support from iwi before we go ahead and do something like this," Mr Jones said.

"The building itself is also about a better service for our people around shared services and standing up for Te Arawa, we would want to invite other hapu, trusts and incorporations to be part of this pou, it also is intended to encourage collaboration.

"This is not the only property we are considering. We own four properties in Rotorua, all of which are viable options. This concept was provided to the wood conference to show that we could use wood to build this structure and support one of our local architects."

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