Thank you Rotorua - Te Aka Mauri is now open

05 February 2018

Te Aka Mauri, home to the Rotorua Library and Children's Health Hub, was blessed to have hundreds of people, who braved the rain, attend its public house warming on Saturday.


The doors to Te Aka Mauri opened - greeted by the excited voice of a young boy, amongst the waiting crowd, calling 'it's open – it's open'.

Rotorua Library's Programmes and Partnerships Leader, Lois Haddon, says it was a memorable opening.

"Thank you for coming Rotorua.  Despite the rain, it was humbling to see hundreds of people come through the doors and help us celebrate the opening of Te Aka Mauri," she says.

In only six days, library staff with help from movers packed, shifted and unpacked furniture including book shelves, computers, sofas as well as thousands of books - from the temporary library in Pukuatua Street to the Haupapa Street building.

It has been a big logistical exercise.

"Moving all our stock to Te Aka Mauri has been a huge task that's taken a number of days.    We're delighted to be in our new home.  It will take some time for us to get settled in as well as to finalise the new layout for library," says Lois Haddon.

Rotorua Library would like to thank everyone who supported the big day and also to the many performers and speakers showcased their talents and skills at the openings: 

  • DJ Ayeesha Kee (Grand opening day MC)
  • Local talent:
    • Ruaeo Te Moni and Te Waikura Witoko of Matariki Star Search fame
    • Chris Webber
    • Terrance O'Brien

      Members from AMJAZZ
    • Lakes Performing Arts Company
    • A surprise performance by some of the cast of Mary Poppins

Saturday's opening event was full of energy and smiles including many children having fun at the popular events:

  • Face painting
  • Magical fairy corner
  • Storytelling and performance sessions with Aunty Bea, Debbie Tipuna, Angie Belcher and the Travelling Tuataras
  • Cubelets, mBots, 3D printing, engineering blocks and snap electronic kits in the Bay Trust and Unison funded Makerspace room captivated the minds of many children and their parents

Locals at the opening liked the new space.

"It's light and airy, and easy to find everything," said Catherine Phizacklea.

In te reo Māori, Manurere McGarvey who was waiting in the face painting queue with her two children, said the space was a very good place for her and her children.

"It's a great place for the children with heaps of books and the playground out front." 

Visitors to Te Aka Mauri on Open Day also made the most of the opportunity to listen to the public talks on offer in the new Discovery Space on the Second Floor thanks to Programmes partner the Wright Family Foundation. Good crowds turned out to listen to guest speakers Dr Johan Morreau, Dr Lance O'Sullivan and Ben Manley.

Guest speaker, Paediatrician Dr Johan Morreau, stimulated people's mind and encouraged them to think about life through a child's eyes and what initiatives such as Te Aka Mauri, a library and child health hub, mean for nurturing children.

You can find out more about his discussion here

Dr. Lance O'Sullivan, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, challenged people to continuously look at innovative ways in which health services can better reach communities. 

Thanks to funding from the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, an interactive display 'Rotorua – Our Story' helps people learn about the foundations of the Rotorua Township.  Rotorua Lakes Council's Kairangahau (Researcher Māori) delivered an engaging kōrero (talk) about the city's founding document, the Fenton Agreement. 

We encourage people to visit and see the new facilities for themselves. Staff are very happy to show you around and answer any questions you may have.

Page reviewed: 05 Feb 2018 5:45pm