Holly Murtagh and Sian Higgins say the renewal of the lease was the best news they could have hoped for.

For the last 20 years the Waiheke Toy Library, an incorporated society and registered charity, has been run by a group of volunteer mothers. They aim to support families by providing children (ages 0-12) with good quality toys which are saved from landfills, thereby minimising plastic waste. Their motto is: “Don’t buy, borrow.”

Studies show that play time can help a child’s hauora (wellbeing), as well as their motivation, resilience, concentration, persistence and time-management skills. It is also important for healthy brain development.

While a lot of toys are donated by members of the library, the majority are purchased through grant money received from the Lottery Grants Board. 

Since opening in 2002, the library has had its share of ups and downs. One of the more traumatic was when in 2019 the lease ran out on their premises at Surfdale’s old post office. They were forced to relocate to a six-metre shipping container in the carpark next door at Hamilton Road. 

At the 27 April meeting of the Waiheke Local Board, members unanimously voted in favour of extending the library’s lease at their current location for another five years, with rent set at $1. 

Library Chairperson Sian Higgins said it was the best news she could have hoped for, and a clear indication that the community values their presence and wants to keep them around. “We are so very grateful to the local board for recognising that the service we provide are necessary, and for helping us to keep outgoing costs low so we may continue to provide quality service that’s accessible to all.” • Kerry Lee

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

Subscribe and read Gulf News and Waiheke Weekender Online