Te Tai Ohinga | Central City Youth Hub

We’re opening a new space on Willis Street that has been designed for young people, with young people.

Two young people having a conversation sitting on a couch.

About the project

A key action in our Strategy for Children and Young People policy is the creation of a social hub for young people where they can feel a sense of ownership and belonging in the central city.

Young people and local youth organisations have told the Council that the closure of venues like Reading Cinema and Te Matapihi (the central library) in Pōneke’s CBD has resulted in a lack of free, safe spaces for rangatahi to hang out. The idea for creating a space like Te Tai Ohinga sprouted from these conversations.

Located on Willis Street next to The Free Store & St Peter’s Church, and co-designed with local young people, Te Tai Ohinga is designed to be a space that is friendly, accessible, and multi-purpose.

Once open, the space will be managed by the The Y, who are also funded to run Te Pokapū Hapori, our community centre at 107 Manners Street.

Construction on Te Tai Ohinga has now begun, and the hub is expected to open its doors to young people in June of this year.

Who we spoke to

We spoke to young people across Pōneke to hear what they think a hub for young people should look like. To ensure good engagement with young people, we have:

  • Run co-design workshops with local youth organisations and architects
  • Talked to local schools
  • Run pop-up street engagements
  • Run drop-in sessions
  • Conducted a survey.

We also took direction from our Advisory Groups such as Youth Council, and talked to other youth spaces in places like Auckland, Hamilton and Palmerston North.

Some feedback signs inside the youth hub for kikorangi, kowhai, whero and kakariki.

The meaning of Te Tai Ohinga

The name Te Tai Ohinga was gifted by Kura Moeahu, Chairman Te Rūnanganui o Te Āti Awa, who has been supporting the Council to better understand the history and narratives of Pōneke.

Te Tai refers to the tides of the sea, and Ohinga is a word referencing young people which is derived from Taranaki, speaking to the opportunity for rangatahi in Pōneke to make a resurgence now that a safe space has been created for them to hang out. It also captures the idea that there will always be young people in Pōneke, just as the tide will always ebb and flow.

Contact us

If you have any questions contact the Connected Communities Te Tai Ohinga Project Team.
Email: communitysupport@wcc.govt.nz