The Knowledge and Learning Hub — Te Huinga Wai in Waipukurau provides library services such as access to free Wi-Fi, co-working spaces and areas to present digital products and services.
The intention of this facility is to ensure digital enablement, business service and community connection to knowledge and learning.CHB Deputy Mayor Kelly Annand The doors are open and the public can take a good look inside the new Knowledge and Learning Hub — Te Huinga Wai.
The Central Hawke's Bay's facility opened to the public for the first time on Monday, following a small community celebration on Friday.
Situated on Bogle Brother's Esplanade, Waipukurau, in what is commonly known as the "Old Bucks" building, the Hub will be home to a temporary library and associated services for at least five years.
It will provide access for businesses, self-employed people and the community with free Wi-Fi, co-working spaces and areas to present digital products and services.
The Hub was formally opened on Friday afternoon by a small group in accordance with Covid-19 event restrictions.
The opening included a karakia by Whaea Amiria Nepe Apatu, and a walk-through of the new facility for councillors, manawhenua, representatives from key funders Kānoa — Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit and Centralines, council staff and supporters from the community, including whānau of Margaret MacGregor, a private contributor of the Hub.
In her opening address, Mayor of Central Hawke's Bay Alex Walker said: "This space has been the coming together of a number of very important kaupapa for us here in Central Hawke's Bay."
The facility was funded externally and reinstates a library service in the town after the unexpected closure of the Waipukurau Library in 2020.
Deputy Mayor of Central Hawke's Bay Kelly Annand said walking through the Hub made her emotional, and that it was moments such as these which were the reason she ran for council.
"This space is hugely important to our wider community," said Annand.
"The intention of this facility is to ensure digital enablement, business service and community connection to knowledge and learning.
"Thank you to our very patient community for allowing us the time and space to do this."
The Knowledge and Learning Hub — Te Huinga Wai is now open to the public, however, Covid-19 level 2 restrictions remain in place and has created uncertainty over the confirmation of wider community events and programmes.
An update on activities in the new Hub will be provided as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow for the commencement of such programmes and events.