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A new evolution in government accommodation 8 Willis

8 willis collab space
Photo by Andy Spain Photography

Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ) and the Ministry for the Environment’s (MfE) move into 8 Willis Street represents another evolution in shared accommodation for government agencies. This exciting new building subtly reflects the unique nature of each agency’s work while supporting their new partnership.

We asked Bridgette Hickey, outgoing Chief Financial Officer for Stats NZ and Mike Porter, Chief Information Officer for MfE, who both oversee the management of the property, about the move and what it’s meant for the two agencies now that they have been onsite since June.

“It’s been fantastic,” says Bridgette. “For us it’s a new chapter – a new organised way for all of us to be together. 8 Willis is a people-centred workspace that encourages a total activity-based style of working, and a new way of co-locating with another government agency.”

As you enter 8 Willis, you are greeted by MfE’s Pou (carved wooden pole), relocated from their previous building. At the base of a spiral staircase, the Pou stands upon the mauri stone, considered the life force of the building, and sourced from the local river Te Awakairangi. The stone was placed by both agencies, symbolising their commitment to this new partnership.

Throughout the building, design motifs have also been used to visually unite the two agencies. Natural structures, weaving and navigational motifs are used on each floor. The famed Fibonacci sequence has been used and can be found in nature and mathematics – perfectly representing the work of Stats NZ and MfE.

Mike says, “The building is special. It really is all about the people and we were purposeful in our change management plans – to help staff take the best advantage of the flexible workspaces and enhanced technology. For example, if you have meetings all day the building’s design and spaces support that. It also supports a range of working style for individuals and groups whether it’s kanohi ki te kanohi, remote meetings or informal catch ups. There will be a space and the technology to allow it to happen. This building encourages staff to consider what their day is made up of and chose the appropriate working point.”

“Stats NZ and MfE are working so well together. The building subtly lends itself to flexibility – and feedback from staff has been incredibly positive.”

Spread over 12 levels, 8 Willis has been designed so that each agency has assigned ‘home floors’, but also have the ability to work throughout the building in the shared spaces. A centralised spiral staircase is accessible throughout the building to encourage movement and mingling between the floors. It is also on track to achieve 6 Green Star and 6-star NABERNZ – with on-site solar energy generation, rainwater harvesting and 90% of construction waste diverted from landfill.

For more information on co-location, email the Government Property team.