After a major refurbishment by the Waitemata Local Board, the new look Art Station was officially opened on 25 June as Studio One Toi Tu. As acting Chair I had the good fortune to represent the Board at an event to reveal the new name.
Media Release: Creative Spark ignited in Ponsonby
SPEECH NOTES STUDIO ONE REVEAL – 25 June 2014
Kia ora hui hui mai tātau
E te iwi tenā koutou
E ngā mana, e ngā reo E ngā hau e whā
Nau mai, piki mai, haere mai
Welcome on behalf of the Waitematā Local Board and thank you, Louise [Louise Mason, Manager, Community Development, Arts and Culture]. It is fantastic to be here on such an exciting evening representing the Board.
Shale Chambers, Chair of the Waitematā Local Board, really wanted to be here for the BIG REVEAL but unfortunately he is away for his 30th wedding anniversary (I think that is an acceptable excuse even if he is in the sun in Greece). With me from the Board are Greg Moyle (Arts and Culture portfolio holder with Shale) , Deborah Yates, Christopher Dempsey and Vernon Tava. Rob Thomas sends his apologies. I’d like to acknowledge Tricia Reade who is here and was very much part of this project when she was on the Board.
As Louise has mentioned, we are in a very special heritage building, in the heart of a vibrant, passionate community. I understand we are in fact in Auckland Council’s first creative precinct.
I’d like to acknowledge the founders and those before us who laid the foundations and kept a creative precinct alive through many challenges.
The Waitematā Local Board is highly aware of the changing demographics of residents and businesses in central Auckland. We know that we need to provide places and spaces that are flexible, versatile and meet the needs of our community within ongoing budget constraints. This led us last year to take a fresh look at the precinct.
We pride ourselves on putting our communities at the heart of our decision-making but I recognise that it hasn’t been an easy process. I’d like to acknowledge and thank those who were involved in the extensive review and consultation process last year to develop a new vision for 1 Ponsonby Road.
The precinct is now a collection of collaborative spaces for artists, creative businesses and individuals, and community organisations to meet, to make, to learn, to listen, to practise, to create and to exhibit.
Creative people can propose, present and host courses, programmes and events – anything is possible here, and every idea is welcomed. To support the new vision, a new name and identity was needed to signal the change and to invite new people to explore and be part of the precinct and its spaces.
New names can be a risky. We want to respect and acknowledge the history of the land, the place and the people who have come before us. We want an ‘open’ name and identity: one that signals we are a community precinct that can be used by many different communities for many different uses in many different ways.
We also would like to clearly communicate the buildings’ many functions. So without any further delay, I take great pride in welcoming you all to STUDIO ONE – TOI TU, a place for many purposes, many people and every possibility.