A structure likened to the Starship Enterprise is the centrepiece of a $50 million retail redevelopment at Auckland International Airport's departures area unveiled today.
The lit-up fabric-covered structure rises from a tiled trunk and is aimed at being a "memorable feature" for the 13 million passengers who pass through the terminal.
The structure - known as Pou Manawa - replaces the Percival Gull airplane which is now hanging above the arrivals area.
There are images depicting carvings, birds, travel, flight and voyaging continuously projected around the fabric surface.
The expanded retail space updates the 1980s styled shopping area and includes speciality outlets available in the airport for the first time such as Apple, MAC cosmetics, Swatch watches and Adidas.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the Pou Manawa structure reminded him of a ship off Star Trek.
Auckland Airport's general manager of retail, Adrian Littlewood said the look of the duty free area had dated since the last major development in the 1980s.
With the number of travellers through the airport, it was busier than any shopping mall in the country.
"The ongoing evolution of the retail departures area ensures that travellers will leave with a positive view of their time here," he said.By Grant Bradley Email Grant