Remarkable Transformation of Puna Waiora

​The Haeata Puna Waiora has completed a remarkable transformation after the first two tumultuous years

Visitors to the library area opposite the school café will have seen that Dale Wang has been able to create a wonderful new area that welcomes parents, learners and staff to meet for a social catch-up, for group meetings or to do some quiet work.

Dale says that it has been a long road from the initial turbulent days when the school opened to the current design where learners can find books or do some work and for the community to get together.

“When I first started, I was surrounded by stacks of boxes with books, wall to wall, from the four schools that had closed and it took us around two years to work though those collections, and other stuff we found, to decide what we needed to keep,” says Dale.

Dale praises the help from volunteers, teachers and colleagues from the National Library for the weeding, sorting and cataloguing the books.

“It was a really complicated process but at the end we ended up with a shelved collection and a room that resembled a library,” laughs Dale who also used of the unused books and materials to create funky and unusual return bins and furniture.

Once the books were sorted, Dale and the Haeata team were still not convinced the furniture and space suited the needs of the learners, staff and whānau and started to be more imaginative in redesigning the space.

“We thought the Puna Waiora could provide a space for teachers and parents to conference, or meet quietly, so I provided a space for them as well, opposite the café, which will hopefully facilitate community events and encourage us to engage with the whānau of Haeata and the surrounding community better,” says Dale.

The school received some more advice around furniture from Int. Workspaces and two years after the opening, the school has a library area that fulfils the need and the vision of the school.

“We are already seeing a change in the space and the way it is used,” says Dale.

“All the statistics are up: borrowing, collection movement, and even simply seeing our tamariki from across the school meet each other and see it as a space to connect with each other during breaks, and engage with their projects during learning times.”