Art gives lo­cal feel to com­mu­nity hub

The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEWTSO

Art­works adorn­ing Stokes Val­ley’s new com­mu­nity hub show the con­nec­tion between the cen­tre and the lo­cals it serves, says Hutt City Mayor Ray Wal­lace.

The Ko­raunui Stokes Val­ley Com­mu­nity Hub was opened and handed over to the com­mu­nity on Oc­to­ber 27 when a rib­bon was cut be­neath a ‘‘fan­tas­tic’’ Ma¯ori carv­ing.

Wal­lace said the art on dis­play through­out the build­ing told lo­cal sto­ries and showed how the com­mu­nity had ‘‘got right be­hind’’ the new hub.

One of the art projects fea­tured at the cen­tre in­cor­po­rates more than 400 tiles dec­o­rated by Stokes Val­ley school chil­dren.

The tile project was led by Dowse Art Mu­seum ed­u­ca­tor Jolie DeGaia who worked with stu­dents from Tui Glen, Ko­raunui and Tawhai schools.

Each tile con­tained a fig­ure and a mix of colours, pat­terns and pic­tures that rep­re­sented each child.

She said hav­ing the chil­drens’ art­work in­side the cen­tre would per­ma­nently link them and their fam­i­lies with the hub.

‘‘The idea was to fill them with some­thing the kids liked, some­thing they re­lated to. It was a way of con­nect­ing them to the hub. We wanted to get them in­vested in the hub by giv­ing them a per­ma­nent pres­ence in the space.

The carv­ing at the en­trance way was done by Sam Hauwaho and Sonny Davis and was cre­ated in con­sul­ta­tion with the lo­cal Ko­raunui Marae.

It fea­tures tu¯puna an­ces­tors, the ‘‘four winds’’ that rep­re­sent the di­ver­sity of tribes that came to the area, a pair of Tu¯ı¯ – an abun­dant icon of Stokes Val­ley, and the Ko­raunui turnip which was his­tor­i­cally an im­por­tant food for peo­ple in the val­ley.

Also on dis­play are a se­ries of large paint­ings of na­tive birds by for­mer Nae­nae Col­lege art teacher Joe McMe­namin and a mu­ral on the south wall of the hub painted by young peo­ple from Sto- kes Val­ley which was over­seen by artist Chevron Has­sett.

The open­ing fea­tured speeches per­for­mances and bless­ings in English and Ma¯ori. About 200 peo­ple in­clud­ing 60 lo­cal stu­dents at­tended.

Wal­lace said the hub was a big im­prove­ment on the old fa­cil­i­ties which were dated and ‘‘not fit for pur­pose’’.

The com­mu­nity’s in­put through­out the process had en­sured they got the hub they wanted and de­served, and he was sure it would be well used and loved by peo­ple in the area.

The Hutt City Com­mu­nity Fa­cil­i­ties Trust was given a $6.5 mil­lion bud­get by Hutt City Coun­cil to com­plete the Ko­raunui Stokes Val­ley Com­mu­nity Hub which was sched­uled to come in un­der bud­get.

The hub will house the Stokes Val­ley li­brary, toy li­brary, com­mu­nity house, hall, Plun­ket and the Po­lice com­mu­nity con­sta­ble.

MATTHEW TSO/ STUFF

Hutt City Mayor Ray Wal­lace ad­mires the carv­ing at the newly opened Ko­raunui Stokes Val­ley Com­mu­nity Hub.

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