Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō - a learning place where knowledge is sought, maintained and dispersed.
Known in short as Te Takere, the Horowhenua Culture and Community Centre, opened in September 2012. A community heart and hub, the centre brings together library services, as well as services and facilities for community, business, youth, and tourism.
Previously the location of a supermarket, the vacant building was purchased in 2007 by Horowhenua District Council, which had the strategic vision of creating a community centre, incorporating the Levin Library.
With an innovative design to re-purpose the building, construction was undertaken by local contractors between late 2011 and September 2012, resulting in a complete transformation from an unsightly big box-type building to a dynamic-looking and inviting community centre.
Nationally, Te Takere became a flagship of its kind - a relevant and convenient destination to complement people's lives at home, school and work. Recreational, cultural, learning, digital and social experiences located in one convenient, modern and accessible facility in the heart of Levin and wider Horowhenua District.
Te Takere was not simply a case of picking up the old Levin Library and delivering it from a state-of-the-art new facility. It meant a complete redesign of its library service delivery. Te Takere was managed by a Council-controlled organisation, Te Horowhenua Trust, up until 2016 when the management of the facility and all its services was brought in-house by the Council following a comprehensive review of community services in the District.
The Trust had 14 strategic areas of operations, only one of which was the library. New services, resources, programmes and activities, as well as systems and staffing, were developed to enable the Trust to deliver the Te Takere vision - which it did. It was even described as a turning point in the development of public libraries by the National Librarian, Bill Macnaught.
Te Takere has been a huge success, proved by 555,763 visitors to the new facility in its first year, nearly three times the number that had visited the old Levin Library in the previous year. The facility continues to be an extremely popular place and space for Horowhenua residents and visitors.
Te Takere offers a "third place after home or work/school. It is a:
- community lounge
- meeting point
- learning environment
- place to play
- place to do business
- ·venue to inform and entertain
- place to try out new things.
Relevant, convenient and welcoming, Te Takere is a safe, supervised and all-inclusive family/whanau destination, offering providing quality activities and opportunities to positively engage and extend everyone.
Te Takere reflects the richness and diversity of the community and showcases all that is great about the Horowhenua. Well connected to local activities, businesses, institutions and organisations, Te Takere, without doubt, contributes to the social and economic prosperity of the Horowhenua District.
What's in our name Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō
The meaning of takeretanga is the dispersal of knowledge. The Takere is also the hull of the waka where treasures are kept for safety. Like the hull of the waka, Te Takere holds many taonga for the benefit of all.
There are many meanings to the word, some are as follows:
- Red glowing light
- The hidden knowledge of our ancestors
- Learning place
- Someone or something of chiefly status
The word hau also has many meanings, two of which include:
It is through both of these elements that knowledge is sought, maintained and dispersed.