The Havelock North Village Green will be transformed into an entertainment destination this week as construction of a spiegeltent gets under way.

The arrival of the tent heralds the approach of the 2017 Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival and serves as an "exciting visual touchstone", festival director Pitsch Leiser said.

Pacific Crystal Palace Spiegeltent site manager Geoff Goss said the first tasks at hand were to secure the site, get three 40-foot containers there and then measure and mark the area.

"Before we even open a container door that's the first thing; getting the site set up. By lunchtime today we should be laying steel out on the ground very close to where it's actually going to be bolted together."


Arriving today from Taranaki in three 40-foot shipping containers, the speigeltent will take about four days and 3000 hours of labour to construct.

Mr Goss said Monday would be solely steel work and on Tuesday the crew would be able to finish laying the steel and start putting up the walls, floors and roof.

MetService has forecast showers for much of the week but Mr Goss said it would be wind that may change the construction schedule.

"We're watching the weather because that will determine what we concentrate on. Basically it will slow us down a bit, it won't stop us. The wind would be the single biggest factor that would make us change our schedule but the rain is just a pain," he said.

By the end of Wednesday, most of the hard work would have been done. The tent would resemble a lockable structure, leaving a few days to dress it up in its finery.

Built in 2001, the New Zealand-built tent was based on the traditional 19th Century European designs with a distinct Kiwi flavour.

While the outside of the structure is looks relatively plain and simple, with colonial style weatherboards and corrugated iron cladding, the inside is decorated in the lavish style Spiegeltents are famous for.

Details include paua shell inlay on the wooden pillars, New Zealand ferns on the ornate mirrors and harakeke designs on the stained glass windows.

The spiegeltent is one of eight venues staging performances for this year's arts festival. Other venues include the MTG Century Theatre, Napier Cathedral and The Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona College.

A variety of food vendors will serve up a rotating array of global cuisine from caravans throughout the 13-day event and a large selection of wines will be available from Ngatarawa.

The hospitality area will be open at least one hour prior to every show throughout the event and Festival Director Pitsch Leiser said members of the public were welcome to enjoy the festival atmosphere, regardless of whether they have tickets to a show.

"There's always a fantastic atmosphere around the Spiegeltent and we'd love people to pop in for an after-work drink, or come down with their families in the weekends."

More details about the daily food providers and opening times will be posted on the Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival Facebook page.