Whaakata is a whare whakairo (carved house) that was built on site at Okains Bay with adherence to tikanga Māori (traditions and protocols), using original materials and taonga (treasured items) from other whare whakairo. Most of the new carving was undertaken by well known New Zealand master carver John Rua (Ngāi Tūhoe).The interior features whakairo (carvings), tukutuku and kowhaiwhai panels. Maheno Honotapu (Ngāti Porou) of the Taiapa family took responsibility for, and produced, most of the beautiful tukutuku panel work. The heke (rafters) came from an old meeting house in Tokomaru Bay, a generous gift from the Potae whānau and in keeping with the tradition that each new house should have something in it from an old one.