We recently celebrated the first birthday of our move to Te Ahu, the multifunctional community centre that is gaining recognition around New Zealand and the world. Enjoy the short video above giving a brief overview of this beautiful space where I work.

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Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

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John as Bjorn Borg

Who says council employees don’t have fun? On Friday, July 27th Te Ahu staff pulled out several stops as they represented Team Sweden in an internal FNDC Olympic Challenge. It should be noted the Council staff’s representation of their Scandinavian cousins was not to be construed in any way as being unpatriotic. It was just a little fun.

Kaitaia staff  were initially disappointed when they selected Sweden from a hat. It was difficult to find a clear point of distinction for the country. But library, service centre, I-Site and other Te Ahu employees made the best of the opportunity. They each chose a Swedish name for the day. It is interesting to note that Viking roots are still to be found in the meaning of many Swedish names. For instance, Hillevi, Kaitaia senior librarian Helen Yuretich’s choice for the day, means ‘healthy battle maid’.

Smorgasbord is a Scandinavian term, so council staff shared a sumptuous morning feast. It was just a little disappointing no one chose to bake the Nordic standby Sexy Swedish Buns, which feature blueberries, by the way.

Although he never competed in an Olympic event Björn Borg is perhaps the best known of Swedish athletes. In the course of his illustrious career the ‘Ice Man’ was victor in five consecutive Wimbledons and a host of other major tournaments. Librarian John Haines (see above) had to don a wig to impersonate the revered Swedish tennis star.

Swedish band ABBA dominated the charts from 1972 to 1982 so a little of their music was played for the beginning of the FNDC Olympic Challenge at Te Ahu.

My thanks to Don Hammond for the photo.

 
CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

I was blissfully ignorant of many of the nuances of our new Te Ahu complex and corralled Mark Osborne to gain a little more insight I could pass on to those visitors wishing to know more. The following information is gleaned from a very quick walk-through with Mark and further conversations with Alan Simpkin and Roger Gale (who gave much appreciated detail on two large tree specimens outside the main entrance).

We in the library are really pleased with our first two weeks. We’ve seen many new and old faces and signed up a number of new patrons. Saturday, the 18th was our biggest Saturday ever with 500 people through the door in four hours, easily eclipsing our previous record of 400 one Saturday in the middle of 2011 during the Duffy book programme. Similarly, weekday door counts are at all-time highs. Despite being unbelievably busy, we’re enjoying the overwhelmingly positive response from visitors to the library.

Installing Pete Griffiths' Pou in the Atrium

I’ve personally heard two different visitors mention they thought the atrium felt like a cathedral. The atrium was entirely conceived and designed locally in a collaborative effort of Richard Murray of Image Nation, Paul Marshall of Paul Marshall Arts and Alan Simpkin and Doug Beard of Arcline Design. The original idea had been to put the pou in a line and Paul Marshall came up with the concept of placing them in a circle, giving each represented group equal measure. Brilliant, don’t you think! There are currently three pou in place. Peter Griffiths carved the European one, Paul Marshall has done Te Rarawa and it is my understanding that Te Puia (a National Arts and Crafts consortium are responsible for the Ngati Kuri pou. Four more pou representing Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Ngati Kahu and people of Dalmatian descent will stand alongside the current pou when they are completed. is anticipated that two more will be unveiled around the time of Matariki in June. The remaining two are not expected to be completed until 2013.

The rolled steel beams at the street entrance to the atrium represent the meeting of the two seas – the Tasman and the Pacific. The floor of the atrium is the sea floor, with the ray correlating to the North Island. Please note the map of the Far North in the tail of the ray, visible from the second level of the atrium. More than 100 perspex kuaka (bar-tailed godwits) hang from the ceiling of the atrium in a flight formation that mimics the migratory bird’s annual journey to the northern hemisphere.

Godwits in Atrium

Steve La Hood headed a team from Wellington-based Story Inc in the interior design of the library and the Far North Regional Museum. Story Inc computer generated the Kupe panels in the library while the forest scene was produced by the Far North’s Paul Marshall.

The tree and suspension bridge are proving very popular with young visitors to the library. Fell Engineering of Haruru Falls did the steel work for the tree. Human Dynamic of Wellington took moulds from a live kauri tree in order to create the authentic bark on our tree. One young child peering up at the leaves of the tree, exclaimed, “Look Mom, giant lily pods.” Close!

Speaking of trees, the beautiful, large tree by the Matthews Avenue entrance is an Erythrina cross. It has pale orange flowers, unlike the red of the closely related coral trees (more often called flame trees), ubiquitous winter-blooming spiny trees of the north). The yellow-flowering acacia-like spreading tree is a Brazilian rosewood or Tipuana Tipu.

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Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

 

On Friday and Saturday we moved our 25,000 book library to its new home in the fantastic newTe Ahu Centre in Kaitaia. It was a monumental effort of many people including Sabine Beard who took the following photos on her phone. We are extremely pleased with the new space conceived by Story Inc of Wellington. Two different people said they felt the atrium entrance to the complex has a cathedral-like feeling. I think the library and museum are reminiscent of the national museum of Te Papa in Wellington. Te Ahu roughly translates as ‘meeting place’.

Step one: Load books in banana boxes

Step two: Take them to the new space, even if not yet completely readyStep three: put the books on the shelves.Voila: A multimedia library with cafe.

 

CLICK BELOW TO:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

 

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

 

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

 

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews