Awa Pukapuka — a community asset

We’ve received the following email from community member Anja Geeling:

Ever since we moved to Waikawa Beach, several years ago, it’s been on my mind to set up a community library, known worldwide as a little free library.

When New Zealand went into lockdown, March 2020, we saw it as the perfect time to make a start. We had only just obtained an old opti, which we thought would be a perfect fit for a beach community like Waikawa Beach. The Opti moved in with us during lockdown and we enthusiastically started working on it. With the very limited time we were given to prepare for the lockdown we were unable to obtain all materials to complete the project during lockdown.

Once we came out of lockdown, life, work and family commitments took over again. Hence the project took much longer than anticipated. But hooray, we are now nearing completion and we would love to donate our little free library to the Waikawa Beach community.

In consultation with some members of the WBRA Committee and the Horowhenua District Council, who both are very supportive of the library, we are looking for a suitable spot near the bridge carpark.

We’ve named the library Awa Pukapuka (River of Books)

Little free library (in progress).
Little free library (in progress).

What is a little free library?

I’ve created a little slideshow for you to get an idea what a little free library actually is.

Alternatively, google it. Little free libraries are spread all over the world, in about 108 countries, including New Zealand.

The idea is to take and/or leave a book, but we have also left some shelf space to take and leave produce… your surplus lemons, apples, etc, and for lost and found property. We’d also like to add DVDs and magazines to the collection.

We are currently looking for donations of books, dvds, and magazines to stock the library. If you have a clean out of the book shelves at your house or bach, please keep Awa Pukapuka in mind. Please email me for pick up/drop off.

We are also currently liaising with an artist to get some beautiful artwork on the sides of the opti and I am applying for a grant from the Horowhenua District Council to cover the artist costs.

To install the library we would love some help from you, our community. The Opti has turned into a very heavy boat and I am no longer able to help Theo carrying it, let alone install it. A small concrete patch needs to be put in too. If you have any labour or materials you are willing to donate toward the installation of the library that would be much appreciated.

If you are interested in helping to maintain and stocking the library please contact me. I will be at the upcoming AGM, to present and take any questions you may have.

Ngā mihi

Anja Geelen, Waikawa Beach

Thanks Anja and Theo for this project to benefit the Waikawa Beach community! Time to switch up some of those books and DVDs on the bach bookshelves.

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