8/05/2019 2:00:00 a.m.
James Barron of Castlecliff NZ with Deputy Mayor Jenny Duncan and Libraries and Community Manager Pete Gray
8 May 2019
On Saturday, 4 May there was a celebratory mood as the Rangiora Street Library in Castlecliff was formally opened.
Kaumātua Potonga Neilson opened the library and shared a whakatauki that was significant for the occasion: “Ma te huruhuru, ka rere te manu - with feathers, the bird may fly”. He explained that the “feathers” referred to knowledge, not money, as some believed.
Mr Neilson said he had lived in Castlecliff for most of his life. He said when he was a boy “growing up in Karaka Street we only had two books in the house - The Boy’s Own Manual and On Land and Sea at the Dardanelles - and I read those books over and over for many years.
“If there had been a library here in those days it would have been wonderful.”
Libraries and Community Manager Pete Gray said he was very proud of what had been achieved and thanked James Barron of Castlecliff NZ for making it possible for the library to be on the site, Library Frontline Services Manager Nicholas Keene for bringing the project together and Library Performance Manager Sonny Tamehana for his interior design work.
Mr Gray said, “It‘s great the Council has had the foresight to put the funding into this.
“We originally planned to deliver one self-service library in the first year, but through clever design we have managed to deliver two libraries this year for the amount set aside for one.
There is funding in the Long-Term Plan sufficient to create up to six more self-service libraries in the district.”
Aaron Mahony from the Mustangs Multisport Club spoke about 12 weeks of long days and late nights where a team had worked on the building under the leadership of Trevor Salmon. Mr Mahony presented Mr Salmon with a plaque commending his work, saying, “The blood, sweat and tears Trevor’s put into this place has been unreal.
“It’s been one heck of a project and one of the best ones I’ve worked on”.
He told the crowd, “Enjoy the library, look after it”.
Deputy Mayor Jenny Duncan, who officiated at the opening, said, “This is another big milestone in the rejuvenation of Castlecliff, which is an ongoing process”.
She said James Barron was a “real inspiration” as he had relocated a building onto the site and worked with various groups, including Whanganui District Library, to make the Rangiora Street Library a reality.
Ms Duncan said there were now two suburban self-service libraries in Whanganui, after the Hakeke Street Library opened in January.
Ms Duncan said this innovative model of library was “the brainchild of Libraries Manager Pete Gray” and she encouraged organisations to get in touch with him if they were interested in partnering to bring a library to another suburb.
The Rangiora Street Library is situated next to the Citadel Cafe and shares a building with Soul Body Beauty Hairdressing. Opening hours are 9.00am-5.00pm, Tuesday to Saturday.