Plans have been unveiled to build an Islamic outreach centre in Rotorua, the first of its kind in New Zealand.
The Aotearoa Islamic Culture and Outreach Centre will include a mosque, library, outreach hall and a Quran museum.
Plans to build the centre were unveiled by the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) president Anwar Ghani this month in Rotorua.
The centre will cost at least $1.3 million to build and funding for it will be raised during the next 12 months, after which construction can begin.
FIANZ project director Farouk Mustafa said the federation was attracted to Rotorua because it was a centre of culture and tourism in New Zealand.
"Rotorua has been selected ... because it is one of the leading tourist destinations in New Zealand and well known around the world.
"The city is the centre of Maori and Pacific culture that attracts about three million visitors yearly."
He said the centre would have two key purposes.
"The primary purpose of the centre is to promote the understanding of Islam and Islamic culture and to reach out and build bridges with other faiths and cultures in New Zealand.
"The centre will also cater for the needs of the Muslim residents of the city and the growing number of students from Muslim countries that come to the city to study."
A site for the building has yet to be purchased.
Rotorua architect Aladina Harunani, of APA Architects, designed the centre. He said there were many Muslim prayer rooms across New Zealand, but this would be the first centre of its kind.
He said the architecture incorporated a lot of Maori and Kiwi culture which would welcome people to the centre.
"I sought advice from the CEO of Te Puia of how best to incorporate Maori art and concepts within this design.
"The design has featured Maori sculpture art and leaning columns above the roof line.
"In Maori belief the land is not owned by anyone in particular and only borrowed, thus is the recognition in architecture of this centre."
He said the dome roof was designed in an oval shape to represent a New Zealand icon - a rugby ball.
Mr Harunani said there were about 200 Muslim residents living in Rotorua, of whom about 50 meet regularly in houses to practise Islamic values and prayers.