New Plymouth Airport named best in New Zealand by peers

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New Plymouth Airport named best in New Zealand by peers

New Plymouth Airport’s terminal has won two major accolades for design excellence from the New Zealand Airports Association.

Owned by NPDC, the terminal Te Hono, was named medium-sized airport of the year and medium infrastructure project of the year at the 2021 awards, recently held online because last year’s ceremony postponed from last year because of Covid.

The judges described Te Hono as an “iconic gateway for the region” and praised it for “giving life to the cultural narrative” of Puketapu hapū.

They also noted airport’s terminal redevelopment project had shown genuine leadership in passenger experience and by including sustainable building design principles.

It sits on ancestral land of Taranaki’s Puketapu hapū, who worked with the project team, design consultants Beca and builders Clelands Construction, to ensure their legacy was reflected.

While the last two years had been extremely challenging for airports around the world, the awards recognised the airport is well placed for a brighter future, New Plymouth Airport chief executive David Scott said.

“In the year to June, we had about 244,000 passengers come through Te Hono, and were expecting about 350,000 over the next 12 months.  We look forward to sharing Te Hono with travellers from around the world for many years to come,” said Mr Scott.

The awards add the airport’s success which includes a win in the Prix Versailles for best airport exterior in December last year.

Te Hono’s design encompasses the entire terminal and reflects the Puketapu origin story of Tamarau at the northern end, Rongoueroa at the southern end with a Tuahu panel in the centre with a figurine depicting their child Awa-Nui-A-Rangi.

Fast Facts

  • It’s owned by NPDC and independently managed by a board of directors, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu (PRIP)
  • The new terminal was opened in March 2020 and can cater for up to 650,000 people a year.


Caption:  Arriving at the big time: From left, Airport Chief Executive David Scott, Property Manager Ian Baker, Operations and Safety Manager Paul Tench and Wildlife Officer Martin Smith outside the Airport of the Year.