Phillip Howard and Mathew Philip attended the opening of the Ngāti Ōtara Park Multi-sport Centre on the weekend.
The project has been ten years in the making, so the local communities anticipation of this day was high. Mathew described the experience as humbling. Having worked on the project for the last few years, including working on site to help artist Tessa Harris weave the Tukutuku panels on the façade, Mat was excited to finally see the community be able to engage with the space.
The 10+yr process puts the project in perspective and showed how many people had a hand in the success of the project… we were just the final delivery team. It makes all this work even more worthwhile when you see how the community are just itching to use the building and start making all the memories in it.
Mathew Philip, Architectural Designer
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Chair, Apulu Reece Autagavaia spoke at the opening, explaining; “I grew up playing on these fields. Our village would play kilikiti here every summer. I remember, as a kid, it was my job to fetch stray kilikiti balls that made their way on the deteriorating roof… The previous building was dark, old and no longer fit for purpose. It feels incredible to be able to provide a beautiful, brand new building to the community we can all enjoy and be proud of.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff opened the facility, stating “This investment by Auckland Council recognises that Ōtara deserves a decent 21st-century sports facility that encourages our young people into sport and inspires them to realise their potential.” Read the full article on the opening here.
Described in an Our Auckland article as a beacon of hope for the area, the clubrooms are the first stage of a project that will also see the addition on a marae when future funding allows. Check out the full project here.