Old cupboarddispensing books to kids
A 1970’s airing cupboard will soon be dispensing books to Porirua children.
Te Kapeta Pukapuka, or The Book Cupboard, took a year to complete and was a real community project, Cheryl Brown said.
‘‘It was quite a mad idea but hopefully a good, mad, idea.’’
The inspiration for the cupboard came from places like Christchurch where people had made book exchanges in old fridges and phone boxes, Brown said.
Porirua’s version was also going to be housed in an old fridge but the process of stripping the electricals and motor made it too difficult.
‘‘We were donated this old airing cupboard which is much lighter....with some wheels and handles it’s great.’’
The project was the brainchild of Brown and Rosie Gallagher, both members of the Ranui Resident’s Association.
Formed seven years ago to take advantage of council village plan funding, the group have been busy beautifying the area.
‘‘Ranui sometimes feels like a suburb of two halves and we really wanted to do something for the children here.’’
The residents association would stock the cupboard with books and hoped the community would take ownership and care of the exchange, she said.
Ruth Robertson-Taylor was commissioned to paint the outside of the cupboard and knew exactly what design she wanted.
‘‘I wanted something that really reflected the surrounding area and nothing does that more than the book Watercress Tuna and the children of Champion Street.’’
The book, originally published in 1984, was written by Porirua author Patricia Grace and illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa and told the tale of children in Porirua’s Champion Street.
‘‘It just seemed the obvious choice for the design and I was delighted when we got permission from the author and illustrator of the book.’’
Eastside Four Square owner Dipak Dubariya agreed to have the book cupboard outside his shop in the Mungavin Shops and would wheel it inside at night.
Wheels and handles were added to the cupboard by the Whitireia construction team. A donation from St Martin’s congregation under Don Borrie helped fund the creation of the book exchange.
Cheryl Brown from the Ranui Residents Association with the book cupboard.