Posted By

Tags

Community project opens a new destination for book lovers


The new Te Kete Aronui Library in Rototuna North, Hamilton (Image Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, July 24, 2023

Hamilton is known for the diverse cultures, languages and sense of community it has to offer to everyone that calls the city home.

The City is ever-growing and creating new community space for the residents through several projects by the Hamilton City Council. One of the latest addition to the community spaces is the library, located in one of the newest parts of Hamilton.

Te Kete Aronui Rototuna Library, the flagship building in Rototuna Village, officially opened on Friday, July 21, 2023, with a blessing from Ngaati Wairere and Te Haa o te Whenua o Kirikiriroa.

Variety of engagements

As well as traditional library offerings, the space has a range of bookable meeting rooms, an Auaha Makerspace, a fully accessible Changing Places bathroom and an on-site café called ‘Chapter One.’ Users will be able to access a range of Council services from the library, including general enquiries, rates payments and dog registration.

The space includes children’s and young adults’ zones, a community lounge and a study and work area. All members of the library will be able to borrow books using the self-checkout stations and collect reserved books on hold. They can also return books through the external window attached to the library.

A highlight loved by the community since the inception of the project is a skate space integrated with the outdoor areas, as it would ensure higher engagement by students and youth.

A play space designed for junior to intermediate use is also underway and has been scheduled to open around October this year.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said that the Village and Library are “fantastic examples of community-led place-making and have given people who live in the area a place to call their own.”

“We owe this building to the passion and ideas of the local community, and their representatives, who helped Council create a space which will benefit so many people. Our libraries are taonga (treasures) for our community. They help shape vibrant, connected communities. I am proud to open this new taonga for Rototuna, and all of Hamilton Kirikiriroa, to enjoy,” she said.

Customer and Community General Manager Helen Paki said this facility was the first of its kind for Hamilton.

The new library accommodates a cafeteria, space for children, a reading lounge and other facilities (Image Supplied)

Inspiring creativity

“Our vision for our City’s libraries is to inspire creativity, promote life-long learning, and strengthen our communities. ‘Te Kete Aronui’ Rototuna Library is the first purpose-built space that demonstrates our new direction. This project would not have been possible without the passionate group of staff, designers and contractors who worked tirelessly to bring the community’s vision to life,” she said.

Hamilton City Council committed funds for the Rototuna Village in its 2018-28 Long-Term Plan. Construction of the Village began in early 2022 and includes a skate space which opened earlier this month. Final touches to the outdoor areas, a play space and North City Road upgrades are expected to be completed by October.

The name ‘Te Kete Aronui’ refers to one of the three baskets of knowledge collected by Taawhaki in the Maori legend. It reflects the role of the library as a community space for learning and knowledge.

The design and name of this building and wider Rototuna Village were influenced by mana whenua to ensure the history and stories of the area were reflected throughout.

The Te Haa o te Whenua o Kirikiriroa (THaWK) group collectively came up with the following name and narrative for the building.

Ngaati Hauaa Kaumatua Sonny Karena said, “ We are referring to Te kete aronui, a basket of knowledge of aroha, peace and the arts and crafts which benefit the Earth and all living things – one of the three baskets of knowledge. This basket relates to knowledge acquired through careful observation of the environment. It is also the basket of ritual, literature, and philosophy and is sometimes regarded as the basket of the humanities. This is how we would describe and refer to this place.”

The opening was marked with a variety of activities at the library for the community to enjoy. There were library tours and exhibition talks, organised every hour.

The Auha showcase had 3D Pens, VR Experience and Crafts for all visitors along with a PlayStation free gaming, and a PlayStation gaming Competition.

With storytelling sessions planned across the weekend, along with scavenger hunt and colouring sessions made it a memorable weekend for the young readers. A Mandarin storytelling session was a unique and much-loved add-on to the opening festivities at the library.

Te Kete Aronui is now open for all to visit and experience.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement