West coast

Weta Workshop leads design concept phase for Pounamu Pathway

Media release

Nov. 6, 2020


Haast World Heritage Area - 1054

Weta Workshop leads design concept phase for Pounamu Pathway

Te Ara Pounamu Ltd.

Pounamu Pathway has appointed Weta Workshop to lead the design concept phase for the project supported by West Coast-based digital design company, CerebralFix. The two design companies are set to complete this key phase of the project by early 2021.

The brief to designers is to deliver on the vision ‘to lead New Zealand in creating captivating, emotive visitor experiences, bringing radical storytelling to life’. Tony Williams, Chair of Te Ara Pounamu Limited, commented that the Directors and Project Team are both delighted and excited to have some of the greatest creative minds in New Zealand on board with the talented teams at Weta Workshop and CerebralFix.

A region wide collaboration to connect the area’s tourist attractions and tell the West Coast’s cultural and historical stories using state-of-the-art innovative digital technology in four visitor centres, Pounamu Pathway is the result of a $17.87 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund.

This design phase of the project is a fantastic opportunity to showcase New Zealand-based companies in the innovation and technology sector.

Weta Workshop Location Based Experiences Executive Creative Director Rik Athorne says:

"The West Coast region is a very special place within Aotearoa and the world. Its history, people, culture, and dramatic landscapes are what makes this region so unique. We are looking forward to working with our colleagues and friends on the West Coast in helping to bring the Pounamu Pathway Project to life.”

Ben Dellaca, Director CerebralFix says: “We are delighted to be a part of the Pounamu Pathway along with Weta Workshop. It’s particularly special for us to work on a project in our own back yard. We are passionate supporters of West Coast businesses and we think this venture has huge potential for the whole West Coast. It’s going to be really great to bring our international experience back home.”

Penny Bicknell, recently appointed CEO for the company, commented “We aim to engage some of the best expertise and talent, both on and off the Coast, to deliver a sustainable product for the future.” Over 50 jobs will be created through the construction, management, and operation of the four centres. By investing in the West Coast tourism sector now, Pounamu Pathway will help the region to be in a strong position to recover from the effects of Covid-19 when visitors return.