Waitakere’s youth finally have a place to call their own with the opening of a multi-purpose youth facility in Henderson today.
The Global Café is a state-of-the-art facility developed by Waitakere City Council, which spent $2.5 million refurbishing the old Henderson Library building to include a performance area, café, media room, sound-proofed rehearsal rooms, recording studio and an art studio and gallery.
Catering for 13 to 25 year olds, the Global Café fills a gap in the youth leisure market and gives the city’s young people a place to socialise, learn new skills and be entertained.
Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey says the exciting new facility is the perfect response to the needs of Waitakere youth, which were identified in a 2001 study on their leisure needs.
“Youth today are incredibly diverse; culturally, spiritually and in their abilities and interests. Being a world-class hip hop crew, as we have here in Waitakere, is today as important as being a top rugby team,” he says.
“The vision for the Global Café is to be a place that youth can call their own and to express and develop themselves through music, art and performance. That is just what the youth of this city told us they wanted.”
“This is the realisation of a 15-year dream for this council and the youth of Waitakere,” Mayor Harvey says.
The facility is managed by the Zeal Education Trust, which also runs a similar operation in Wellington.
Global Café manager Stacey Hitchcock gave special thanks to the council for its support and foresight to deliver such an outstanding facility.
“I cannot believe the council we have,” she says.
“This has been the most amazing experience for us working with the council, which has been incredibly supportive and has shown great leadership to build something like this for its young people.”
The honour of unveiling the plaque to celebrate Global Café’s September 26 opening was given to local musician Tau Manukia of the award-winning band Spacifix.
For more information about the Global Café go to www.zeal.org.nz