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Architecture Masters student and designer Rick Kaufusi awarded CUE Haven scholarship

  • Rick

Fourth year Architecture student Rick Kaufusi has been awarded a CUE Haven Community Trust scholarship in recognition of his design work at the CUE Haven native bush reserve overlooking the Kaipara Harbour.

Masters student Rick designed the ornamental panel carvings on the recently-opened hilltop pavilion which was officially opened at an event at the 24-hectare reserve last Friday.

Rick, who was supervised and mentored by Unitec Architecture lecturer and an architecture, art and design consultant Semisi Potauaine, and Wingate Architects’ Rameka Alexander-Tu'inukuafe, designed the carvings by hand, learnt the software to enable him to digitally print, and then cut them on Unitec’s CNC machine. 

Rick describes the carvings as “simple but meaningful” with a Pan-Pacific theme.  Images of trees represent replanting and everyone’s efforts to bring the land back to what it once was.

“The panels are representative of us; the community. Every hand that’s helped bring the land to what it is now.  We all belong to the land,” said Rick.

One of the western-facing panels showcases the logos of the organisations that have supported CUE Haven with the viewing platform build, including Unitec, Beca, Wharehine, Fortress, Dulux and Foundation North.

The trustees of the CUE Haven Community Trust awarded Rick one of the annual Edmund & Edna Stazyk scholarships.  The scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate a keen desire for learning academic or technical skills, with the funds being used for the purchase of items for educational purposes.

The vision for CUE Haven, which stands for ‘Cultivating Understanding and Enlightenment’, is to bring people together to share ideas and learn from each other and to also enjoy the benefits of being in nature.

“Our aim was to create something beautfiul that will be here long after we’ve gone,” said trustee Thomas Stazyk.

Other Unitec staff and students to be involved in the CUE Haven project include Peter McPherson, Head of the School of Architecture and Research Supervisor; Dr Yusef Patel, Research Lead, Supervisor and Co-ordinator; and Gemma Kate Campbell, Master of Architecture Professional Student and Design lead for the Pavilion.

You can listen to more about the CUE Haven project on RNZ ‘Voices’ here.