First look inside Xero's trendy Auckland headquarters
/ Augusta News
ANNE GIBSON | NEW ZEALAND HERALD
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is scheduled next week to open new Parnell offices for technology company Xero.
"We decided to name the building Te Ara Turoa which means the journey of enduring light," said Northern Express bus-riding Xero boss Craig Hudson who skateboards from the Britomart to his St Georges Bay Rd work.
The New Zealand and the Pacific Islands managing director said: "At Xero, we go off into the many countries that we're in at the moment, 180-plus, from New Zealand all over the world."
To pick that name, Hudson and staff met with Ngati Whatua Orākei including Whai Maia chief executive Rangimarie Hunia, to learn the history of the whenua and the significance of the land where the building stands at 96 St Georges Bay Rd."It was important to me," Hudson said of the building's name. "We polled our people. It was quite a collaboration and went through a shortlist. We needed to figure out how to ground a brand new concrete box. So we engaged with Ngati Whatua Orākei to talk through the story of the area," he said citing historical pā sites having been on the Parnell Rose Gardens, Auckland War Memorial Museum and Auckland University sites.
"We're in the centre of the three pā sites and the land was reclaimed," he said. "The name of the building is the name of one of the waka of the area."
Ardern is due to open the offices next Friday afternoon and Hudson said that would mark the end of the relocation, which opened with a blessing from tangata whenua.Assistant facilities manager Ashley Jayasekara worked on the project with a team which moved about 400 Xero staff from The Textile Centre office block in the same street to the new offices at the end of November, Hudson said.Soon, he said, Xero will need to lease more space as its operations grow. The business remains headquartered in Wellington's Wakefield St. Jayasekara said whimsical touches like the noughts and crosses came with the business in the move, appearing as cupboard handles and in other interior design elements.Meeting rooms are named after famous historical, science or technology figures including Hawking, Galileo and Newton. Others rooms have Māori names like Hihiko [to be inspired, invigorated] and Hononga [joining people/connections]. A wellness room, small gym with meditation/relaxation/massage area, X-Box and Playstation, table tennis, pool table and foosball are provided for staff who move around via activity-based work and have wrist-bands with chips allowing entry to lockers and onto their two floors.Hudson is now working on an application to turn himself into a hologram to greet people when they arrive at the door to the new premises "and that will tell the story of how we were named. You'll scan the app and I'll appear on your phone."
Augusta Capital told the NZX late last year that it would syndicate 96 St Georges Bay Rd to investors, with a fund buying the block for $116m.
The five-level A-grade office building developed by Mansons TCLM has 11,083sq m of floor space and apart from Xero, other tenants are Independent Liquor, Harrison Grierson, VCFO Group and two shops.