Te Taiwhanga Taiohi - East Auckland Youth Space opening

Publish Date : 05 Apr 2024
Youth Space

Get ready to hang out at the hippest and trendiest new social spot for young people in East Auckland, run by youth for youth.

Funded by the Howick Local Board, delivered by Te Tuhi (one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s foremost contemporary art spaces) and supported by Botany Town Centre and Howick Youth Council, the doors to Te Taiwhanga Taiohi (the Māori name gifted by Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki) East Auckland Youth Space, officially opens on Saturday 6 April.

Howick local board chair Damian Light says, “We’re thrilled to see this project delivered and are extremely grateful for our community partners for their incredible work to get us here.
“Te Tuhi has worked tirelessly to create this incredible space and we can’t wait to share their efforts with the wider community. We appreciate the ongoing support from the Botany Town Centre over many years especially on this project. We’re grateful to mana whenua - Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, who have gifted the space a Te Reo Māori name, recognising the diversity of the communities it provides for.”

Getting to this point has been a journey, with the board committing to it for the next  five years. 

Light adds, “With over a third of our 150,000+ residents under the age of 25, we’ve heard consistently that we need to do more for our taiohi (youth). As recently as last year, the community has told us they want more opportunities for youth and this is a critical part of delivering on that request.”

The initiative began in 2015 with a feasibility study, leading to the agreement on a phased approach for creating a youth space.

The board allocated funds for the project despite the uncertainty surrounding the emergency budget, demonstrating their strong support and belief in its success.

“Even when faced with unprecedented financial challenges, the Howick Local Board has remained committed to delivering this project. When tough calls had to be made, we’ve made sure that the needs of local youth were not forgotten”, says Light.

A pilot scheme ran in 2022 was a huge success with 10,000 young people visiting, helping prove the need for a permanent space and providing useful insights on how to make it successful.

Light sums up the boards support, “This dedicated youth space is a key element in our Local Board Plan as we reaffirm the community’s priority to supporting and helping our youth grow.  Along with Te Tuhi, we were able to make this happen thanks to the tireless support from local youth and the Botany Town Centre. We can’t wait to see how it develops over the next few years.”

Te Taiwhanga Taiohi East Auckland Youth Space will be open seven days a week, staffed by young people and a young supervisor overseen by Te Tuhi management. 

Source: Image from East Auckland Youth Space Facebook page.

Source: Image from East Auckland Youth Space Facebook page.

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