More than 50 people gathered at the Historic Village this morning to attend the blessing of its newest building - The Kollective.
The 1800m sq two-storey co-working space had been built by TECT to house 40 organisations from Tauranga's social service sector as well as the staff of the three funding organisations that supported the build - TECT, Baytrust and the Acorn Foundation.
TECT chairman Bill Holland said the total cost of the build was about $10 million, which included the purchase of the land from Tauranga City Council - a move some viewed as controversial.
Holland called it "ridiculous opposition" and congratulated the council for ignoring the naysayers and supporting the project, which he said would be used by the community in many beneficial ways.
The open plan space had 135 sit-stand desks, six meeting spaces, four kitchenettes and one large kitchen at the heart.
Facing the rest of the village was a 132m sq deck by day/stage by night, which looked out over a 3800m sq green with room for 3500-person events.
This morning the building was blessed by kaumatua Tamati Tata, and several special features were unveiled.
They included a totara slab sign bearing the name of the building and five poupou (totems) carved by Whare Thompson, each made from wood recycled from the previous building on the site and bearing carvings of both a native bird and a kaitiaki (guardian).
Inside the front entrance a colourful 6m by 9m vinyl-on-glass panelled artwork by local artist Logan Hunt spans both levels.
Hunt said the tukutuku panel designs were modern representations of panels from Huria Marae.
Attendees at the blessing included members of the social service community, representatives of the funders, Mayor Greg Brownless and several councillors, MPs Simon Bridges and Jan Tinetti and local tangata whenua.
Building manager Gordy Lockhart from SocialLink said there were still a few finishing touches including some internal fitting and building the carpark, which will have 57 carparks and two electric vehicle charging points for the two electric cars and two electric bikes that will serve as pool vehicles for the leasees.