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Te Manawa starts beating

Published: 3 April 2019

The newly-opened multipurpose facility, Te Manawa, is the first of its kind in Auckland – both a community hub and library built for the city of the future and generations to come. As a cornerstone of Westgate’s urban complex, Te Manawa will provide West Aucklanders with space and resources to explore, connect and grow. 

“We’ve done things differently at Te Manawa, building not just a library but a facility that provides a range of valuable community services under one roof,” says Mayor Phil Goff.

A community open day on Saturday 6 April will launch Te Manawa to the city, showcasing its range of services and facilities. From the creative hub and recording studios to the Citizens Advice Bureau, the language collections to the event, functions and meeting rooms for hire, the hub has something for the whole community.

“Te Manawa is an incredible space and will bring so much to the community,” says Shane Henderson, Chairperson of the Henderson-Massey Local Board.

“I’m excited to see local residents make the most of the range of resources available and what it will bring to them.”

Unusual highlights include a commercial kitchen available for catering (whether it’s a kids’ breakfast club or MasterChef contest), and the Auckland Council services area where residents can sort administrative matters such as paying rates and registering their dogs – saving them an extra trip. 

Nestled at the core of the whole facility, giving it particular energy and vibrancy, is the children’s space – Te Whare Tapere – created by multi-disciplinary award-winning artist Robin Rawstorne. Inspired by the concept of a pool in the middle of a forest glade and designed with curved, wooden structures, the space is uniquely designed to encourage play. It includes a stage for storytelling and performances, nooks to curl up in, and movable book bins to change the area’s shape and size.

Westgate’s development is a key component of North-West’s growth, says Waitākere Ward Councillor Linda Cooper.

“The North-West is rapidly transforming – it’s forecast that by 2050 over 80,000 people will have moved to Westgate and its surrounding areas,” she says.

“Auckland Council is focused on building facilities like Te Manawa to improve local services for both existing suburbs and future growth areas." 

“Community facilities such as Te Manawa are vital as our city grows It will be an enduring asset for the people of Henderson and Massey and beyond,” says Phil Goff.

For Auckland Libraries, Te Manawa reflects libraries evolution into an open place for the community to come together. It’s been set up as a citizen-lead space, based first and foremost on the needs of the residents such as longer opening hours and specialist staff for different parts of the community.

Community Open Day

Te Manawa Community Open Day is on Saturday 6 April 2019, 10am-5pm at 11 Kohuhu Lane, Westgate

The name Te Manawa, means the heart, was given to the facility by Matua Heta Tobin of Ngāti Whātua Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara, along with names for the many rooms and hubs within the centre.

The wider Westgate Development was also given a name by Matua Heta Tobin – Te Pūmanawa meaning the beating heart, which puts into perspective the relationship of community hub and library to the Westgate Development: One cannot operate without the other. Matua Heta Tobin passed away last month, but his gift remains as a legacy to the project “No reira e te matua Heta haere haere moe mai ra.”

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