Vivian Street opening

23/04/2013 - Z updates

Vivian Street opening

Every now and again you have a really special day where months of hard work and planning come off seamlessly, leaving you feeling proud of what you do and who you do it for. The opening of our new Vivian Street, Wellington site was just such a day.

It all started in September last year when our contractors uncovered a Victorian culvertfrom the 1870s at our Vivian Street site. The vault channelled the Waimapihi Stream which starts in the Te Aro Valley and now runs under the city in ancient brick drains to the harbour.

The Waimapihi Stream is culturally important because a female Maori ancestor, Mapihi, once bathed in the stream. Alongside the stream a midden was also discovered that has shells that date back approximately 600 years. The midden and its contents tell of continued habitation by Maori over this period.

Since that day of discovery in September, Z started working with the local mana whenua from the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust to see how to best recognise and commemorate the significance of the stream and the area.

On 5 April, at dawn, some seven months of work came to fruition on a stunning Wellington morning. 50-60 people - including a good 20 from Z, The Trust and its kaumatua, the Wellington Mayor and assorted media - gathered for a moving and very special ceremony at the site.

After the welcome (karanga) a sculpture was unveiled ‘Te Pikotanga o Mapihi’, and the site was blessed by Mark Forsyth, Z’s GM Retail, and the kaumatua of the Trust.

The sculpture has been designed and built using bricks from the stream culvert; by Weta Workshop set artist, Ra Vincent. Following the unveiling a blessing of the site and shop was also performed by the Trust’s kaumata.

Mark Forsyth, after a greeting in Maori, spoke about the journey to the opening being a new experience for Z; how we had learnt a great deal on the way; and how we were starting to build a new relationship with the Trust which is important to us. His speech concluded with a waiata performed by the whole Z team.

As one of the Trustees noted on the day, it was a win-win for everyone: our service station is open and serving the people of Wellington, the culture and history of ancient Wellington has been respectfully acknowledged, our brand as a company and its people has been strengthened and enhanced through our commitment to do things the right way. We had the energy to do what mattered.


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