Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Visitors flock to award-winning new Hamilton library

More than 150,000 visitors have passed through the doors of Te Kete Aronui Rototuna Library since it opened in July, making up 41% of all library visits in the city.

Hamilton City Council Mayor, Paula Southgate joined mana whenua, Elected Members, community groups and staff on Friday to bless and officially open the remaining spaces surrounding Te Kete Aronui. This includes play and outdoor spaces and the revamped North City Road.

Mayor Southgate said the visitor numbers were “simply amazing” and demonstrated the demand for quality community facilities in the city.  

“In my view, libraries are taonga (treasures) for our community. This was part of Council’s commitment to create a vibrant heart for the growing north-east Hamilton community, that is a great place to live, work, play, and visit,” she said.

“This award-winning library and the surrounding Rototuna Village are a great example of community-led placemaking. Feedback from the local community and mana whenua have strongly influenced its design, clearly ensuring it was fit for purpose.”  

The play and outdoor spaces include swings, shade and seating areas, and an upgrade to North City Road will provide safer connections for pedestrians, people on bikes, and public transport visiting the area. An additional carparking area is also included.  

“As Mayor of our wonderful city, I’ve always said it’s important that we build sustainable, safe and vibrant communities. The village is now well-connected to the rest of Hamilton through safe roading, public transport options, and shared pathways for pedestrians, people on bikes and public transport,” the Mayor said.

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Council committed funds for the Rototuna Village in its 2018-28 Long-Term Plan.

Construction of the Village began in early-2022 and the library and skate spaces opened in July 2023.  

A pou is expected to be unveiled by mana whenua during Matariki in 2024.  

Features of Te Kete Aronui and the wider Village include:

  • A range of small and large meeting rooms and flexible spaces available to book, including after hours.
  • Council services such as rates payments and dog registrations.
  • Hamilton’s third Changing Places bathroom facility.
  • An on-site café, Chapter One.
  • An Auaha Makerspace, purpose-built for creative technologies.
  • Free wi-fi, with computer, printing and scanning services available.
  • Kids and young adult zones, community lounge and a study/work area.
  • Full range of library services to support customers’ information needs.
  • Space to exhibit library-curated displays.
  • Borrow from self-checkouts, collect holds, plus return items 24/7.
  • A skate space and play space integrated with the outdoor areas.
  • Upgraded North City Road to make it safer for pedestrians, people on bikes and public transport.
  • Two carparking areas.  

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