There are five important Māori kaupapa (principles) that underpin the cultural narrative behind Te Pae Christchurch – and these are reflected in the design, spaces and artworks that are integrated into the centre:

• Whakapapa: identity and connection to place
• Manaakitanga: hospitality, respect and care for others
• Mahinga Kai: the knowledge and values associated with customary food gathering places and practices
• Mana Motuhake: being able to act with independence and autonomy – being ourselves in our places
• Ture Wairua: being able to exercise spirituality and faith.