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Te Puni Kokiri House receives major accolade at EECA Awards

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Already boasting a 5 Green Star status, Te Puni Kokiri House is now a high-performance green building on the inside too, with a 4.5 NABERSNZ energy rating

Te Puni Kokiri House receives major accolade at EECA Awards


There is green, then there's comprehensively green. Revisiting a sustainably in-tune building with a modernising, green-focussed interior not only adds to its credentials, it also makes it an extremely attractive building for tenants to occupy.

A multi-million dollar improvement in value, and a staggering 30% reduction in energy use, recently saw an historic Wellington office landmark – Te Puni Kokiri House – take out a major prize in New Zealand's EECA energy awards.

Te Puni Kokiri is a public service department that leads Maori Public Policy and advises on policy affecting Maori wellbeing. It is the principal advisor on Government-Maori relationships.

In 2013, Te Puni Kokiri House received a 4 star NABERSNZ energy performance rating and has continued to improve its energy performance even further to achieve a 4.5 NABERSNZ energy efficiency rating in 2016. The building already had a 5 Green Star Built rating. The Green Star rating tool is used during design and construction, to assess the environmental aspects of buildings. However, NABERSNZ looks solely at energy performance, and is used once buildings are occupied and operating for a year or more.

Te Puni Kokiri House, located at 143 Lambton Quay in Wellington, was the overall winner of the Opus International Consultants Public Sector award at the annual EECA Awards, and received a highly commended in the Smart Energy Solutions Small to Medium Energy User category.


The historic building's win demonstrates that even New Zealand's oldest heritage buildings can get a new lease of life and be transformed into high performing green buildings, when comprehensive energy efficiency ratings are used. The recent upgrade to a 4.5 NABERSNZ energy rating puts Te Puni Kokiri House in a unique position in the commercial property landscape.

With partner Argosy Property, Te Puni Kokiri House underwent a major internal retrofit, which resulted in the 30% reduction in energy use.

Highlights of the super-green retrofit included the value of the building – improved by $7 million; $80,000 worth of energy savings going back into the public purse each year – as all eleven floors are occupied by Te Puni Kokiri; and energy audits before and after refurbishment showed energy use had reduced from 205 kilowatt-hours of energy per m2 annually to 138 kilowatt-hours. In addition, Te Puni Kokiri House was the first building in New Zealand to use electro-commutated fan coil units, which improve control of air conditioning. 90% of the project's construction waste was re-used or recycled, and water use has been reduced by 29%.

NABERSNZ ratings are fast-becoming the industry barometer for commercial office buildings to measure and improve their energy efficiency. Landlords are getting NABERSNZ ratings to improve their building values and attract high quality tenants, and at the same time tenants are seeking out more efficient, attractive, and cost-effective premises to occupy.

Demonstrating the growing influence of innovative and effective sustainability measures in the commercial property sector, several NZ Green Building Council members were also finalists in the EECA Awards. Laminex NZ received a commended in the University of Waikato Innovation category and the Trustpower Renewable Energy category; Ceres Organics won the Smart Energy Solutions Small to Medium Energy User Award; Christchurch City Council was commended in the Opus Public Sector award; and Victoria University's Victoria Energy initiative received a highly commended in the Fujitsu General NZ Community award.

NZGBC member Panuku Development Auckland saw its sustainability manager, Viv Heslop, win the Vector Energy Leadership Award.

For more information on Te Puni Kokiri House's EECA Awards win, or to learn about the benefits of a NABERSNZ rating for tenants and landlords, visit the

First published date: 15 June 2016

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