Te Ara Ātea – our new Library and Community Centre

(Images this page supplied by Warren and Mahoney Architects)

Selwyn and Rolleston’s new library and community centre will be known as Te Ara Ātea – after the name was formally gifted to the Council by Te Taumutu Rūnanga.

The name means “the unobstructed trail to the world and beyond” and reflects the centre’s role as a place for learning, gathering, connecting, exploring and celebrating the district’s heritage and people.

The new library and community centre is a landmark project in the proposed Rolleston town centre, centred on what is currently part of Rolleston Reserve. Construction of Te Ara Ātea is expected to start in mid-2019.

Te Taumutu Rūnanga Chairperson

Selwyn and Rolleston’s new library and community centre will be known as Te Ara Ātea – after the name was formally gifted to the Council by Te Taumutu Rūnanga.

The name means “the unobstructed trail to the world and beyond” and reflects the centre’s role as a place for learning, gathering, connecting, exploring and celebrating the district’s heritage and people.

The new library and community centre is a landmark project in the proposed Rolleston town centre, centred on what is currently part of Rolleston Reserve. Construction of Te Ara Ātea is expected to start in mid-2019.

Te Taumutu Rūnanga Chairperson Julie Robilliard says the rūnanga is delighted to be supporting the Selwyn community with the new name.

“It is with great pleasure that Te Taumutu Rūnanga gifts the name of Te Ara Ātea to the new Rolleston Library and Community Centre,” she says.

View from the town square towards Te Ara Ātea, showing suspended lighting system at right.


“Meaning the unobstructed trail to the world and beyond, Te Ara Ātea is particularly appropriate because the Rolleston area was part of a network of ancient trails. We know that the people of the district will enjoy their new library and community centre and we are pleased to support the community by gifting this name”.

Selwyn mayor Sam Broughton says the Council has been working closely with Te Taumutu as a key partner during the development and design stages of the new library and community centre.

“We’re privileged that the rūnanga has gifted the name Te Ara Ātea – which is so appropriate for a community facility where we will celebrate our history but also look confidently to the future.

“The idea of exploring, challenging and finding different pathways to learning and discovery is exactly what this exciting new space is about.”

The Wordsworth Street extension as seen from Tennyson Street, with retail premises on either side.


About the Rolleston Town Centre Master Plan

A master plan for Rolleston town centre was adopted by the Council in 2014 after extensive community consultation. Key elements of the plan have also been confirmed through Long-Term Plans and other consultation. The plan sets out a vision for a town centre, located on what is currently part of Rolleston Reserve, which will be a vibrant and engaging destination for Rolleston and the wider Selwyn district.

For background and to view the Master Plan documents: www.selwyn.govt.nz/yourtownyourfuture.

What’s coming next?

The Council will lodge resource consent applications before the end of the year for the first stage of the town centre – including the Te Ara Ātea building, town square and promenade and key roading developments.

Preparatory site works are expected to begin in early 2019, transportation projects in April and construction in June.


  • Dynamic public spaces to complement library

    14 days ago
    400sdc rolleston town centre map %28002%29

    Planning and design is now well advanced for the public spaces at the heart of Rolleston’s new town centre.


    The Council’s design team expects to lodge resource consents before the end of the year for the first stage of the project, which will include the library, town square and key roading elements.

    A central element of the plan is the open public space that will connect the town centre to Te Ara Ātea – the library and community centre.

    *Check out the Rolleston Town Centre map on the top right of this page.

    The area has been designed so that...

    Planning and design is now well advanced for the public spaces at the heart of Rolleston’s new town centre.


    The Council’s design team expects to lodge resource consents before the end of the year for the first stage of the project, which will include the library, town square and key roading elements.

    A central element of the plan is the open public space that will connect the town centre to Te Ara Ātea – the library and community centre.

    *Check out the Rolleston Town Centre map on the top right of this page.

    The area has been designed so that people can move freely between the indoor environment of Te Ara Ātea and outdoor spaces that encourage community gathering, activities, recreation and reflection.

    A main promenade will run between Tennyson Street entrance and the Wordsworth Street extension, offering pedestrians a leisurely walk through landscaped gardens, comfortable seating areas, grassy ‘urban islands’, outdoor kids’ educational zones and even a vege garden.

    Te Ara Ātea will open onto a spacious town square which will provide areas for civic and community gatherings, markets, events, performances and informal community interaction.

    Among the distinctive features of the town square are a suspended overhead lighting system to create a unique night-time environment, raised gardens with seating, shade sails and water features. There are also spaces for tables and chairs outside the proposed hospitality and retail premises adjacent to the library and community centre.

    As well as pedestrian space, the promenade will also accommodate cyclists and limited service access for vehicles. Initially part of the promenade and laneways may be constructed with asphalt, with permanent decorative paving installed once later stages of building construction are completed.


  • People-centred streetscape for town centre

    14 days ago
    Sdc rolleston town centre ehq

    Plans for the roading network around the new Rolleston town centre reveal a streetscape that is people-centred.

    *View the cross sections for the streetscape at the top right corner of this page.

    The roads around Te Ara Ātea and the adjacent civic and commercial spaces will be predominantly low-speed, attractively landscaped, cycle and pedestrian-friendly, and with provision for both on and off-street car parking.

    Consultation on the original Rolleston town centre master plan, and subsequent Long-Term Plans, confirmed the development of a low-speed thoroughfare along the Wordsworth Street extension, which will run through the commercial and retail areas adjacent to...

    Plans for the roading network around the new Rolleston town centre reveal a streetscape that is people-centred.

    *View the cross sections for the streetscape at the top right corner of this page.

    The roads around Te Ara Ātea and the adjacent civic and commercial spaces will be predominantly low-speed, attractively landscaped, cycle and pedestrian-friendly, and with provision for both on and off-street car parking.

    Consultation on the original Rolleston town centre master plan, and subsequent Long-Term Plans, confirmed the development of a low-speed thoroughfare along the Wordsworth Street extension, which will run through the commercial and retail areas adjacent to Te Ara Ātea, connecting from Moore Street to Markham Way at Tennyson Street.

    Retaining through traffic helps ensure the area remains active and vibrant. The street will be sympathetic with the wider town centre design, including wide berms to accommodate tree planting and greenery, small areas of garden, attractive lighting, seating and street furniture.

    Pedestrian pathways will be generous, with attractive paving, and the 6.4 metre road width is designed to accommodate two lanes of traffic. The design will incorporate traffic calming in the form of raised crossings in concrete pavers, which encourage vehicles to reduce speeds at locations where pedestrian cross the road.

    Car parking is provided along the road, and there is also right-angle parking opposite the Scouts hall, alongside the reserve.

    Tennyson Street, between Moore Street and Rolleston Drive, will undergo a major transformation – becoming Rolleston’s new high street.

    It will also be a 30km/hr zone, with attractive landscaping and street furniture, traffic calming features and wide pathways.

    Te Ara Ātea, the Rolleston Library and Community Centre, will be the landmark feature on the western side of Tennyson Street, along with the adjacent commercial and retail areas extending towards Rolleston Drive.

    This will be complemented by additional commercial development on the on the eastern side, including retail and hospitality premises already under development by private developer Jatinder Developments.

    Multiple car parking options will be available in the vicinity of the town centre. On-street car parking will be available on both Wordsworth Street and Tennyson Street. The Council will also develop off-street parking at the Moore Street end of Rolleston Reserve (See plan C1 - 76 spaces), behind the shops on the eastern side of Tennyson Street (C2 - 45 spaces), and on two sites on the southern side of the Wordsworth Street extension (C3 - 137 and C4 - 124 spaces).


  • About the name - TE ARA ĀTEA

    14 days ago
    8310 rolleston c016 facade v01  email

    The name means: The unobstructed trail to the world and beyond.

    Traditionally the Rolleston area was part of a network of ara tawhito, ancient trails. Navigating across the landscape of Ngā Pākihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha, the Canterbury Plains took skill and planning. Our old people created these trails, marking them on an otherwise flat landscape. The network of trails led them not only across the plains but more importantly from mahinga kai site to mahinga kai site. Much like the story of Te Maru/Mauru and the Rakaia Gorge talked about in the design work, Te Ara Ātea creates a pathway.

    ...

    The name means: The unobstructed trail to the world and beyond.

    Traditionally the Rolleston area was part of a network of ara tawhito, ancient trails. Navigating across the landscape of Ngā Pākihi Whakatekateka o Waitaha, the Canterbury Plains took skill and planning. Our old people created these trails, marking them on an otherwise flat landscape. The network of trails led them not only across the plains but more importantly from mahinga kai site to mahinga kai site. Much like the story of Te Maru/Mauru and the Rakaia Gorge talked about in the design work, Te Ara Ātea creates a pathway.

    Te Ara Ātea can be translated as the trails to the world, the pathway into space, the unobstructed trail. It acknowledges the location of the library in the network of trails, it also reinforces the pathways into life long learning and exploration. The word ‘ara’ means path, trail and route. It also refers to a line of weaving and is the verb to wake or to rise up. Ātea means to be free of obstruction, to be clear. It is also the name of the ceremonial courtyard, marae ātea, on the marae. The purpose of the marae ātea is as the place to debate and challenge. It is one of the thresholds that one crosses going onto the marae. Ātea also means outer space. The name Te Ara Ātea therefore carries with it the notion of pushing out into the beyond, exploring, navigating and challenging.

    If one accepts that Te Ara Ātea is an unobstructed trail, then the facility and the surrounding facilities become much like the mahinga kai sites of old. Each has a purpose and a resource that should be cared for, nurtured and harvested in a sustainable way. Each becomes a marker on the trail.

    Ko te pae tawhiti whāia kia tata, ko te pae tata whakamaua kia tīna.

    Seek to bring distant horizons closer, and sustain and maintain those that have been arrived at.