Member of Parliament for Auckland Central, Chlöe Swarbrick, joined AUT representatives yesterday to officially open our newest building - Te Āhuru Student Accommodation and Recreation Centre.
Te Ahuru is a new 697-student apartment building. The development also included a 6-level podium with a basketball court, dance studios, table tennis and foosball tables, treadmills and gym bikes as well as plenty of lounge and social spaces for students.
Te Āhuru was inspired by the term 'āhuru mōwai' which refers to the water and the womb in which a baby nestles. Te Āhuru is a safe haven for our students to feel comfortable, settle and rejuvenate. The poutokomanawa (centre post) located in our wharenui, Te Pūrengi represents the nurturing nature of a mother to her newborn serving as a metaphor for our university as we nurture our students through their studies here at AUT.
In officially opening the building Swarbrick thanked mana whenua, AUT and our partners for a “whole lot of time and mahi to get this building up”. She went on to say that much like a beautiful building of bricks and mortar, it takes human beings committed to creating positive culture to bring it alive.
“That is why I want to acknowledge the staff, particularly the Residential Assistants, wellbeing and administrative staff, who will do the groundwork to ensure that Te Āhuru fosters an inclusive, flourishing community. They'll lay the foundations to honour Te Āhuru's name; warmth, safety, shelter, comfort.
“I look forward to working with everyone and anyone to ensure that vision becomes concrete. I want to acknowledge AUT for doing the hard work to get here. I want to acknowledge that work does not end. And I want to say with my name on that little plaque and my office just up the road, I too take responsibility for the success of this project.”
AUT Vice-Chancellor, Derek McCormack, said AUT appreciates that students being on the campus provides a richer and more compelling experience than sitting at home studying and doing tests online.
“It is through this face to face interaction that students develop the crucially important social skills, like collaboration, communication and critical thinking. These are the transferable skills that they will take with them into the rest of their lives. With this new building, we can bring students onto the campus by offering high-quality accommodation – if they are from outside Auckland, or from the outer fringes of the city, facing an otherwise long and expensive daily commute.”