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W H A K A T A N E    A I R P O R T

This report was commissioned by Shane McGhie, Principal Planner at the Whakatāne District Council, on behalf of the Whakatāne District Council.

The Whakatāne aerodrome is located within the flat lands at the edge of the Whakatāne coast between the Whakatāne River and the Rangitaiki River. The aerodrome is surrounded by open countryside. The roadway to the aerodrome runs parallel to the runway in from the east on the southern side of the property. The terminal is set within the apron area of the aerodrome to the south of the runway. The Whakatāne Airport Terminal is sited at the Whakatāne Aerodrome, between the apron of the runway to the north and the car parking area to the south with the immediate area around the buildings largely hard paved.

The terminal was designed by prominent Wellington architect Roger Walker in 1971, and was constructed between 1972 and 1974. It has a lively appearance typical of Walker’s designs from this, his best, period. The stacked and shifting forms of the building(s) create a visually arresting built environment that adds considerably to the experience of the Whakatāne Airport, both inside and out.


Walker’s architecture from this period set a new standard for architectural design in New Zealand and had an influence internationally. The rigour of the design in combination with its apparent playfulness make the Whakatāne Airport Terminal an enduring work of architectural design.

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