The long-planned Te Hono / Avondale library and community hub has been reallocated $15 million to secure its future development.
The project faced a significant funding shortfall due to an increase in construction costs across the industry.
But Auckland Council’s Governing Body voted on Thursday to reallocate funding from the Whau Aquatic and Recreation Centre development budget in financial year 2026/2027.
It asked for any unspent capital budget during the development of Te Hono to be returned to the aquatic and recreation centre budget.
The construction of the adjacent upgraded town square and outdoor areas will be managed by Eke Panuku, with its own confirmed funding.
Future funding secured
Whau Local Board agreed at its business meeting to support the reallocation and the Governing Body decision was welcomed by Whau ward councillor Kerrin Leoni and Whau Local Board chair Kay Thomas.
“Ngā mihi nui to the Governing Body for approving the funding option and huge mihi to Whau Local Board for their great mahi,” says Kerrin.
“The Whau ward is experiencing rapid intensification and is facing a large growth in population. Te Hono will be an important amenity for Avondale and will help bring our diverse community together. I’m glad we managed to make it possible.”
Local Board chair Kay Thomas says: “I’m pleased to see the future funding for Te Hono secured and this is such great news for our community.
“I’d love to thank all those who helped make the development of Te Hono possible. Avondale is an area of significant deprivation and has a history of underinvestment. The continued investment in Te Hono will help regenerate the entire local area.
“I’m also excited that the project does not need to be put on hold until the next Long-term Plan is adopted in June 2024. It can progress with minimal delays and cost escalations now.
“In the meantime, Whau Local Board is still committed to the Whau Aquatic and Recreation Centre.”
The preliminary design, adopted by Whau Local Board at their September business meeting, simplifies construction, and minimises costs to ensure the project remains cost-effective.
Compared with the concept design approved by the board in 2021, the preliminary design opts for a steel and concrete structure instead of a timber frame, relocates the community hall and sky room to street level and relocates the building eight meters towards the reserve. This enables improved solar efficiency, shallower foundations, and a larger town square, among other budget-friendly adjustments.
Following the approval of the preliminary design by the board, the project will progress to a developed design with an aim to lodge a resource consent by December 2023, followed by a detailed design and a construction phase.
“Our board was delighted to adopt the preliminary design of Te Hono. I’d like to thank council staff and Eke Panuku for their excellent work in optimising the design given the funding issues,” adds Kay.
About Te Hono
Whau Local Board approved the concept designs in 2021 and last year named the new library and community centre for Avondale as Te Hono.
The name ‘Te Hono’, which means ‘the connection’, recognises that the new facility connects place, people and purpose. It was gifted by mana whenua representatives from Te Kawerau ā Maki, and supported by Te Ākitai Waiohua, Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.
As an integrated community facility located in the heart of the town centre, Te Hono is an important part of the Eke Panuku Unlock Avondale urban regeneration programme. The programme seeks to enhance the town centre’s vitality as a place to do business and visit through more and better-quality housing, improved public spaces and upgraded transport connections.
Auckland Council and Eke Panuku are delivering Te Hono in partnership.
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