A New Library, Arts, Culture and Public Space
Te Ramanui o Ruapūtahanga
In 2011 an independent review of all our library services identified the need for a larger library in Hāwera. The review found that the Library was too small for the number of people using it (approximately half the size recommended to service a population of Hāwera and surrounds), which limited the services and programmes that a modern library normally provides. The review recommended Council create a combined facility for library, arts, culture and heritage services along with considering the relocation of the i-SITE visitor centre and bus stop. This recommendation was timely given that Council was considering ways of addressing issues Hāwera faced relating to earthquake prone buildings, the lack of good quality public toilets and the need to revitalise the town centre.
As part of its 2015 – 2015 Long Term Plan the Council decided to build a new civic facility which would include a bigger library (including meeting rooms, computer suite and multi-use spaces), public toilets, art gallery, café, i-SITE visitor centre and bus stop.
This new Library, Culture and Arts Centre (named Te Ramanui o Ruapūtahanga) will be the key anchor project in the Hāwera Town Centre Upgrade. It will efficiently combine a number of facilities onto one site, providing people with a wide-range of services, information, cultural and educational resources right in the heart of Hāwera, bringing much needed foot traffic and visitors to the town centre. But it won’t only be a community hub, it will also be a catalyst for driving change which will create new vibrancy, economic stimulus and improved connectivity for both the South Taranaki community and for visitors to the district.
Cost and Funding
The cost of this development is estimated to be $8 million. The Council has agreed to contribute up to $4.8 million to the facility with the rest coming from external grants and sponsorship. To date almost $3 million has been raised externally, mainly thanks to a generous grant of $2.8 million from the TSB Community Trust.
The Council’s contribution will be funded by taking out a loan. Annual drawdowns from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund (LTIF) will be used repay the loan over a number of years. This means there won’t be any impact on rates to fund the project.
Te Ramanui o Ruapūtahanga means the beacon or signal fire of Ruapūtahanga, a famous Taranaki Māori ancestress. Ruapūtahanga would light the beacon as a signal for Iwi to meet so they could talk, share ideas and knowledge. We think the name perfectly symbolises the new centre’s purpose as a place for the community to meet in order to share information and gain knowledge
Te Ramanui o Ruapūtahanga will be located on the corner of Regent and High Streets, Hāwera.
Project Milestones Completed
|August 2016||Architects Warren and Mahoney appointed|
|December 2016||Site for new facility purchased|
|September 2018||Concept plans developed|
|October 2018||Community Engagement|
|April 2019||Preliminary Designs Complete|
|June 2019||$2.8 million grant from the TSB Community Trust received|
|November 2019||Resource consent lodged|
|June 2020||Resource Consent Hearing held|
|July 2020||Resource Consent Approved|