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Council gifted name for community hub; countdown to opening begins

People wanting to access key council services in-person will soon have an exciting new destination to visit, called ‘He Puna Manawa’.

Previously known as the Goddards Centre and located between Devonport Road and Grey Street, He Puna Manawa will house council’s customer service centre and central library from early next year while the new civic precinct is developed.

The name He Puna Manawa was gifted to council by mana whenua, Ngāi Tamarāwaho and Ngāti Tapu, and was formally endorsed by the Commission at a Council meeting this week.

Translated literally, He Puna Manawa means ‘heart of the spring’. It can also be described as an oasis, being the collective pool created by many springs feeding in. 

Commission Chair Anne Tolley says it’s an honour for council to have been gifted the name, which captures the spirit of the exciting, vibrant and interactive hub that will soon occupy the site.

“He Puna Manawa will be a place where everyone in the community can come together to connect, share, learn, and access key council services,” says Anne.

“It will also breathe life into the area and help give surrounding businesses a much-needed boost.”

Council Strategic Māori Engagement Manager Carlo Ellis says the name is also a nod to the area’s history; a key consideration for council and mana whenua.

“In the past, the area was fertile and productive, with freshwater springs located around the area close to where He Puna Manawa is located,” says Carlo.

“Today, we see the name of Spring St and a prominent sculpture by the late master carver Tuti Tukaokao depicting a calabash in the form of a fountain on the corner of Spring and Grey Streets, which all reference this heritage.”

“The name and concept behind He Puna Manawa marries the history and significance of the area with the future aspirations for the site.”

Those aspirations will soon be realised, with the transformation of He Puna Manawa progressing swiftly. 

The customer service centre is expected to be open there on Monday 24 January 2022, while the central library plans to open its new doors by the end of March.

Customer Services Manager Margaret Batchelar says the customer service centre will operate out of its current Willow Street site up until Friday 21 January.

“We are working hard behind the scenes so we can close our doors on the Friday, and open at He Puna Manawa the following Monday,” says Margaret.

“We expect there will be minimal disruption for the public while the relocation takes place.”

Libraries Manager Joanna Thomas says moving the library’s extensive collection of books and resources will mean the current premises will be closed from Sunday 20 February.

“We are working through what that will mean for the community and how people can continue to access and return items until we open at He Puna Manawa at the end of March.”

The joint council facilities are expected to be based at He Puna Manawa for the next four years.

Introducing the logo for He Puna Manawa

Local artist and designer Quinton Bidois was engaged to design a logo that supports the name and concept of He Puna Manawa. Quinton has whakapapa to mana whenua, as well as being a Senior lecturer in Toi Māori at Toi Ohomai.

The tohu (logo) utilises the calabash theme for correlation to the Spring Street sculpture. The three koru represent the three iwi of Tauranga Moana, and the notches represent people of the wider community. They all culminate in the joining and combining of people and resources into the centre of the vessel. The colours represent the merging of the moana and the whenua in Tauranga.

The words beside the logo translate to mean: ‘An oasis - a water spring, a spring of information, a spring of life.’

Posted: Dec 15, 2021,


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