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Source: Auckland Council

A new community hub opening in the heart of Takanini this weekend will provide a home away from home for the growing and diverse community.

Auckland Council’s newest community facility, Te Paataka Koorero o Takaanini – Taakanini Community Hub officially opens on 27 March and will provide visitors with a new space to call home.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff will be on hand to officially open the hub, which includes library and community services and is located within the Takanini Village shopping centre, where the council has taken a long-term lease to house the facility.

Mayor Goff says that with the huge increase in housing in the area and growth in population, the new facility — into which Auckland Council has invested $2.9 million — is much needed.

“The new community hub will provide all of the services that a library does but much more than just that,” he says.

“It will also provide access to computers and wi-fi, study spaces for young people, a community kitchen and a children’s play area, and will cater for and reflect the diversity of the local community.

“The community hub will follow the new model of council facilities which is exemplified in Te Manawa at Westgate, which has been hugely successful. The combination of community facilities together in one place ensures good service to the local community and delivers value for money to ratepayers,” Phil Goff said. 

Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says the facility has been more than 10 years in the making, having first been mooted by the former Papakura District Council.

“It hasn’t been an easy journey because it took a while to find the right location, but to be able to say we have this new facility gives me a great sense of pride, and I am so pleased for the people in this community who have been crying out for quality community services.

“It’s also great that much of what people will experience in the new hub, as well as the services offered and how it will be run, is the direct result of input and engagement with the community.”

Home away from home

As well as library services and community spaces, the hub also features a community kitchen, a dedicated play area for tamariki and a parent room.

“We’re really excited to finally be able to welcome our community to come in and experience this place, and see how a lot of the feedback they gave us several years ago has been realised,” says community hub manager Dany Miller.

“This will be more than just a library and we hope people will quickly take ownership of this space and that it becomes the heart and soul of this new and growing community.

Takanini Village Ltd director Rob Wallace says the new facility takes pride of place at the north-eastern corner of the site, on the corner of Walters and Arion roads.

“It’s a landmark building and a gateway to Takanini Village for us, and we are excited to have it as part of our place.

On a personal level, Mr Wallace’s family has lived in the area for four generations and has watched residential growth change the area, making the new facility desperately needed.

“We see it as an essential part of our Takanini town centre vision. I know local residents have been watching it go up and we are really proud to have played a part in bringing it to them. I’m looking forward to bringing my children along to new community hub.”

Te ao Māori at heart of design of place and way of working

When it came to designing the new community hub, services and the way it would operate it was done through a te ao Māori lense.

This was not just about saying we need to have a Māori name for the facility, or include signs with te reo Māori and through artworks, it was about collaborating with mana whenua and the community to create a whānau centric place.

Te Paataka Koorero o Takaanini is the council’s first kaupapa Māori facility which will see the multidisciplinary team practising tikanga Māori – a set of shared values.

“What that means in practice is listening to our community about the kinds of programmes they are interested in and working with them to design them as well as encouraging opportunities to participate in culture,” says Dany Miller.

The area’s rich Māori history is also showcased in the design and creative elements of the building, and te reo Māori is championed throughout by using bilingual signage, and with several staff also speaking Māori.

The project team was privileged to have Te Akitai o Waiohua and Ngāti Tamaoho working alongside them throughout the engagement process and on artwork for the space.    

Artist Johnson Witehira was commissioned by Te Akitai o Waiohua and worked closely with Ted Ngataki of Ngāti Tamaoho and Kathleen Wilson of Te Ākitai Waiohua to create window artworks that are based on the story of Taane and the basket of knowledge. 

View art concepts

What’s in a name

Mana whenua also provided the name for the new facility with the use of the double vowel in Takaanini representing the history of the area.

The use of the double vowel rather than macron is the preference Te Ākitai Waiohua and honours the prominent chief Ihaka Takaanini after whom the suburb was named after.

He still has descendants living in the area and the suburb of Wiri is named for his son Wirihana. 

Project Background

  • Name: Te Paataka Koorero o Takaanini – Takaanini Community Hub
  • Location: Takanini Village, 30 Walters Road, Takanini
  • Hours: Open 7 days.
  • Contact: Follow us on Facebook
  • Facilities: Community kitchen, spaces for hire, library services    
  • Ownership: Takanini Village Ltd.  Council has taken a 25-year lease.
  • Size: 610m2
  • Architect: Pacific Environments NZ Ltd
  • Fitout Contractor: Focus Interiors Ltd
  • Construction: Wallace Construction – for Takanini Village Ltd
  • Project Cost: $2.9m

MIL OSI