The new community education facility in the Artworks courtyard was officially opened last Wednesday with a blessing by Pita Mahaki and Maikara Ropata, on behalf of Piritahi Marae.
Chanting a karakia which cleared the way for the former library space to become the Waiheke Learning Centre, the pair led about 60 guests around the building in a moving ceremony that included staff, students and members of the public.
Waiheke Local Board members Shirin Brown and Beatle Treadwell spoke about the concept they had for the space to be open to the Waiheke community.
They also acknowledged Waiheke Adult Literacy for their promise to support this vision by welcoming people of all ages and backgrounds into the space. Waiheke Adult Literacy chairperson Barbara Disley spoke of the organisation’s role in helping students gain confidence and important skills.
She noted the range of islanders attending courses at the centre including apprentices, literacy learners and people who needed support to move forward in their lives.
Manager Fiona Gregory also thanked Waiheke High School for allowing the organisation to lease premises at the school for the past five years as well as thanking all the staff and volunteers who had assisted with the move.
Waiheke Adult Learning gained a licence to occupy the facility at Artworks following a public expression of interest process earlier in the year.
The centre offers tuition for adults, ranging from the arts to business development.
The Learning Centre is at 2 Korora Road, Oneroa next to the Waiheke Cinema and opposite the new library entrance.