Te Aka Mauri is a $12.8million collaborative health and wellbeing project in Rotorua being developed by Rotorua Lakes Council and Lakes District Health Board. As well as providing a library of the future for the Rotorua community, its aim is to provide a one-stop hub for children and their families with a range of services and amenities that contribute to wellbeing and learning.
Te Aka Mauri promises to create a combined library and children's health destination like nothing ever seen before - either nationally or globally. It really is a world first, which means Rotorua is leading the way.
Council needed to upgrade the Haupapa Street building occupied by the library including repairs and earthquake proofing. Meanwhile, the DHB wanted to establish a central, accessible centre for child and family services, away from the hospital environment to increase attendance at these services.
The project takes a strategic, big picture approach that looks to the future with Rotorua Library and the Rotorua Children's Health Hub under the one roof. Funding for the building work is shared between the council and DHB, the latter funding the fit-out of its dedicated space.
The DHB will become a long-term paying tenant in the 6,000m2 building, the library taking up about 4,000m2. Some staff facilities will be shared.
Councillors approved the project and $5.4m capital expenditure as part of the 2015-2025 Long-term Plan, based on concept plan estimates. Subsequently, in December 2015, the full council passed a recommendation from its Strategic Planning & Finance committee, confirming support for the hub and an increased council budget (to $8.8m) for the project, based on updated estimates for the approved concept plan.
Work to the building required moving the library to temporary premises in Pukuatua Street for 18 months.
Mayor Steve Chadwick cannot wait for the new facility to open and for the community to enjoy a 'library of the future'. Earlier this year she said
Te Aka Mauri is a wonderful example of how we can take the vision that underpins our community, Tatau Tatau – We Together, and build it into the future of our city. It is an exciting opportunity to provide a synergy of services for our tamariki and our community as a whole. This is a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity, so please come on the journey with us.
For further information on the project history visit the Rotorua Lakes Council website.