New mobile library and outreach service Pūrehurehu blessed

Published on 17 July 2020

Iwi representatives and UHCC Chief Executive, shortly after the Pūrehurehu blessing

Pūrehurehu, Upper Hutt Libraries’ new mobile and outreach bus was blessed at a dawn ceremony this morning. The event inducts the vehicle into service which will begin on Monday 20 July.

Pūrehurehu goes into service visiting 8 schools and 28 preschools each week. Other visits are being considered for future delivery including retirement villages and rest homes. Pūrehurehu will also attend key events in the community, such as the Spring Festival and March Madness fairs.

“We are delighted with Pūrehurehu, allowing us to provide responsive and innovative outreach services throughout the city,” says Upper Hutt Libraries Manager, Marion Read. “The upgrade from our previous service has been worth the wait and we’re looking forward to serving the community better.”

The new service will carry 2,500 books for users to browse or borrow. It will also be able to deliver books on order to schools and preschools. The new bus includes an external TV screen and sound system that will enable it to deliver outreach and educational programmes to a wider range of people. It is fitted with solar panels to boost the power supply. Pūrehurehu also has Wi-Fi installed to enable customers to access the Libraries’ APNK network, using their own devices or Upper Hutt Libraries’ Chromebooks.

The kaupapa for the Pūrehurehu name is about reviving and acknowledging place names, and flora and fauna once abundant in the upper reaches of Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt River). Literally referring to a cirrus cloud or mist lying as small detached portions, Pūrehurehu is the original name for the Moonshine Valley and the surrounding hills above Riverstone Terraces, and was given to a well-used trail that traversed through the area from Te Awa Kairangi to Porirua.

This kaupapa has been reflected in the exterior artwork by Christopher Davidson who has strong connections to the area, having been brought up in Upper Hutt, and then studying at the VUW/Wellington Polytech Schools of Design in Wellington. The clouds depicted in the artwork reflect the meaning of Pūrehurehu, but are also the dreamscape of our main character, dreaming of all the wonderful activities within the bus, and the surrounding area, as they float above the landscape below.

In 2018, a decision was made to replace the aging mobile library bus with a newer, more reliable vehicle in order to continue the Libraries’ outreach services. After extensive research, a (24-seat) Fuso Rosa was selected which will provide the libraries with more flexibility to deliver its outreach services in a safer, more economical and environmentally friendly manner.

The fit-out for Pūrehurehu was undertaken by Kiwi Bus Builders in Tauranga who have had experience in fitting out library mobile vehicles throughout the North Island. The innovative shelving and layout was designed by Int.workspaces who have previously worked with the libraries in creating user friendly and welcoming layout designs. Upper Hutt’s own Dzine Signs also finalised exterior design and brand placement, installing the artwork onto the vehicle.