Selwyn District Mayor Sam Broughton turns the first sod at the blessing

New Rolleston town centre site blessed

by Mike Isle

A blessing ceremony led by Te Taumutu Runanga has prepared the way for work to begin on the new Rolleston town centre.

The ceremony blessed the ground for construction of Te Ara Atea, the new library, community and cultural facility, which will be the first stage in the town centre development.

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton said the projects are an exciting step for the town and the district. Te Ara Atea, a name gifted by Te Taumutu Runanga, which means “the unobstructed trail to the world and beyond” — was the perfect project to begin the town centre development.

“Te Ara Atea will be the heart of the new town centre that will take us into the future, creating a hub that will meet our growing needs and bring communities together,” he said. “It’s appropriate that we start with a place designed for all generations to gather, learn and discover. It’s been good to partner with Te Taumutu, and it’s also fitting to start with a project connected with mana whenua that celebrates our history and also looks to the future.”

The building, designed by architects Warren and Mahoney, will sit on the edge of the new town square and be the heart of the town centre, which will also feature recreational space along with commercial, retail and hospitality developments.

Te Ara Atea and the adjacent civic and commercial spaces will be landscaped, cycle and pedestrian-friendly, and provide for both on and off-street car parking.