Celebrating Onehunga’s youth legacy
13 March 2023
The 312 Hub’s mission has always been to help Onehunga Māori and Pasifika youth thrive and succeed in the community.
And as it prepares to shut its doors after five years, members of the creative youth space can proudly look back on a job well done.
“The 312 Hub has provided a space for new, exciting and essential voices of Onehunga to be heard”Head of Placemaking, Eke Panuku
The 312 Hub was established in 2018 with the support and investment of Eke Panuku, the Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, as well as Creative New Zealand and others, as a space for local creatives who were living, working or studying in Onehunga.
Over the past five years, it has supported the establishment of various youth programmes – including ‘Onehunga Bites’, a popup gateway hospitality programme that supported young people into education and work experience, and ‘Aroha Ability’, a vocational arts programme for young people living with a disability. It has also set up education and art workshops and wānanga that have helped rangatahi find their own path.
In addition, the 312 Hub has established a series of hīkoi to help people understand and learn the histories of Onehunga, established small businesses and rangatahi-led community projects, and developed various arts-based initiatives.
It has created four large murals adorning walls around Onehunga and the isthmus, and, memorably, led a beautiful Matariki celebration in 2020, bringing ‘The People Weaver’ mural at 77 Selwyn Street, Onehunga, to life over two nights of storytelling.
With the support of Eke Panuku, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board and mana whenua iwi whānui, the 312 Hub has been able to help young develop and design their own pathway into further education, employment and/or entrepreneurship through collaborating with local kura, businesses and community organisations. It has also developed a memorandum of understanding with emerging creatives wishing to pursue a path into teaching the next generation.
However, sustaining a community hub for five years with limited resources has been difficult, says co-founder Amiria Puia-Taylor, and the team has decided now is the time to close the Onehunga space and seek fulltime work to support their whānau.
The decision to close the Hub has not been made lightly, says co-founder and co-director Sabrina Puia. It was made as a collective and involved the founding rangatahi and current leadership team.
Members of The 312 Hub and the associated Rangitahi Hub will continue to work with the Eke Panuku placemaking team to support activations, identity and local place leadership in Onehunga. They have also gone on to establish a new creative art space hub in Hokianga and inspired one in Porirua, providing support and leadership to other communities around New Zealand.
Eke Panuku Head of Placemaking Frith Walker says she is hugely grateful for the Hub’s contribution to Onehunga youth, and acknowledged the “incredible richness and aroha” the hub has brought to the community over the past five years.
“The 312 Hub has provided a space for new, exciting and essential voices of Onehunga to be heard,” she says.
The 312 Hub will officially close on 31 March 2023.