Tairāwhiti’s terminal

This iconic terminal represents Tairāwhiti, and is something that we can all be proud of. It serves locals and manuhiri alike, and you always know where you are when you’re welcomed to, or farewelled from, our region.

A shared vision

Gisborne Airport’s long and evolving history was celebrated once again in November 2020, with the official opening of our iconic new terminal.

The work was funded by airport operators Eastland Group, Trust Tairāwhiti, and the government’s Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, previously called the Provincial Growth Fund.

Throughout the project, Eastland Group worked closely with Ngai Tāwhiri, who hold mana whenua over the area, architects Tennent Brown and Architects 44, along with consultant Karl Johnstone and artists Sir Derek Lardelli and Tiopira Rauna.

After receiving recognition at a regional level, our airport terminal went on to be named a Public Architecture category winner in the 2021 New Zealand Architecture Awards.

It’s also the most sustainable airport terminal in Aotearoa.

A shared journey

Over the main entranceways, airside and landside, visitors are invited inside by toi whakairo carved from totara by Tiopira Rauna and his students at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Soaring across the ceiling is a 42-metre carved tāhuhu designed by Sir Derek Lardelli of Lardelli Arts. The tāhuhu represents Manaia, the mana of the people, and carries the aspirations of the people.

Tiopira Rauna introduces the wahine who are celebrated in the pare Nga Tararere Karangaranga a Hinehakirirangi.


Sir Derek Lardelli explains the meanings of the tāhuhu, as the panels are carefully installed along the spine of the roof inside the terminal.