A significant moment in the life of the Hundertwasser project has been marked with the laying of a mauri stone.

Around 40 people, including local leaders and members of the project team, gathered at the site of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Māori Art Gallery in Whangārei's Town Basin today for the early morning ceremony.

The ceremony, which included a blessing and the laying of the stone was led by kaumatua from local hapu Te Parawhau.

The mauri stone instills mana into the site, which is then embodied by the building.


The mauri stone was taonga from the rohe of Te Parawhau.

Mauri is an energy which binds all things to the physical world and without it mana cannot flow into a person or object.

Hundertwasser project spokesperson Greg Hay said the mauri stone is around the size of a football and was laid near what will become the heart of the building.

The stone has been covered in earth and the concrete foundation will be poured over it when the time comes.

Hay said it was a clear still morning and many people remarked they thought of Hundertwasser himself and others, such as the late Greg Guy who was a key supporter of the project, as the ceremony took place.

As for progress on the construction of the building, Hay said work to drive 75 piles up to 33 metres into the ground was still continuing.

That work was hoped to be finished around the end of the month.