New Zealand has broken ground on its Expo 2020 country pavilion being set up under the theme Care for People and Place at the Dubai gala event.
To be located in the Sustainability District, it will feature an exhibition space, restaurant, hosting facilities and a design store, said senior government officials.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to confirm participation in Expo 2020. Its pavilion design was revealed in May last year during Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan's meeting in Wellington with New Zealand's deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs, Winston Peters.
The pavilion has been designed by leading New Zealand architecture firm Jasmax taking inspiration from beautifully carved treasure boxes that were made by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, to hold items of considerable intrinsic value.
The pavilion will showcase New Zealand’s culture and values through the theme Care for People and Place, which explores the connection between people and the environment, stated Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s Commissioner-General to Expo 2020 while speaking at the ground breaking ceremony in the presence of Matthew Hawkins, New Zealand’s Ambassador to the UAE and Expo 2020 representatives Najeeb Al Ali, Executive Director Bureau, and Maha Al Gargawi, VP (International Participants).
"The ground-breaking and start of construction is a major milestone for New Zealand at Expo 2020, and we are pleased to be one of the first countries to begin building on site," noted Kimpton.
“We’re really excited to share our pavilion story with the international community. Our theme, Care for People and Place, will be part of the visitor experience and continue in the pavilion restaurant, where patrons can experience our warm hospitality and enjoy food that has been grown and prepared with future generations in mind,” he said.
"At Expo 2020, we want to give our pavilion visitors a top-quality and authentic New Zealand experience," said Kimpton. "The restaurant and hospitality offering will feature the very best of New Zealand food and beverage and the design store will convey a contemporary and innovative New Zealand, a country that is good for the world", he added.
Construction is expected to be completed by the middle of next year, ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai opening on October 20.