19 Aug 2017

The list of reasons to visit Sumner got a little longer today with the opening of the new Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.

Inside the new Matuku Takotako;Sumner Centre.

Inside the newly opened Matuku Takotako:Sumner Centre.

Built to house Sumner’s library, community centre and museum, the striking two-storey Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre sits on the corner of Wakefield Ave and Nayland St. 

The big crowd who turned out to celebrate its opening this afternoon were treated to songs by local school children before the building was officially declared open by Mayor Lianne Dalziel and the community welcomed in.

“The opening of Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre is especially touching and significant when you stop to consider where we came from, and what Sumner was going through just six years ago,” Ms Dalziel said.

“One of the Council's jobs in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquakes was to support the development of a community-led effort to protect the precious character and qualities of the Sumner Village Centre as it recovered. This planning took place right alongside members of the Sumner community, and that close involvement is certainly reflected in Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.

“It won’t just be the immediate community coming through the doors of Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre – it's an attraction that has the appeal to bring even more people from across Christchurch into Sumner Village,” Ms Dalziel said.

Among those gathered to celebrate the opening of the Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre was Carolyn Robertson, who is the Christchurch City Council’s Head of Libraries and Information.

“The sense of excitement at the opening was palpable – not just because Sumner has been missing their permanent facilities for more than six years now, but because the building itself is unlike anything else in our network,’’ Ms Roberton said.

“It has a unique look and feel – a perfect reflection of the natural environment it’s nestled in – and it offers a lot of great features in a very striking space.  With so much of the wider Sumner community playing a part in bringing it all together, it’s definitely something for them to be proud of.”

Armitage Willams Construction built the $10 million centre on behalf of the Council, starting work on site in late July 2016.  The Sumner Redcliffs Historical Society contributed $50,000 towards the cost of the space for the museum.

The society's honorary secretary Topsy Rule is thrilled with their new home. The society lost its museum space in the old Sumner Borough Council Chambers building as a result of the February 2011 earthquake.

Mrs Rule, who was a founding member of the Sumner Redcliffs Historical Society, said it was wonderful to again have a place to store all the museum’s items and archives.

“The building will be such an asset for Sumner and Redcliffs as it is 110 years since the original building of Sumner Borough Council offices and Town Hall was opened,’’ Mrs Rule said.

Matuku Takotako is the original Ngāi Tahu name for Sumner Beach.