The recent opening of the new Jamatkhana facility in Auckland has been a triumph after many months of tireless effort in preparing the facility followed by the additional challenges that the COVID 19 lockdown presented.  The New Zealand Jamat had an emotional opening with mixed feelings of elation and joy, tinged with sadness for the rest of the community across Australia unable to congregate due to restrictions. The jamat were very cooperative as they maintained the need for social distancing and adhered to the hygiene protocols in place for their own safety and security.

The pool of over 280 Ismaili volunteers from across Australia and New Zealand (including Time and Knowledge volunteers) dedicated many hours of service in various capacities such as project planning, building works, electrical, carpentry, cleaning, first aid and safety, providing refreshments, logistics and transport has made this Jamatkhana a labour of love.

The facilities of the Jamatkhana include a large prayer hall, a multipurpose hall for events, weddings, speaking events and general social activity. The multipurpose centre has been allocated for the early childhood development, primary and secondary education classes including play areas.   Together with the library room and first aid room, boardroom / meeting room and large kitchen space, the Jamat will enjoy their new facilities.

The motif used throughout the Jamatkhana designed by a local member of Auckland Jamat embodies the notion of pluralism and is derived from the koru (Māori for “loop”), a spiral shape based on the geometry of an unfurling silver fern frond.  This is an integral symbol in Māori art and represents new life, growth, strength and peace. The motif using the form of the koru is abstracted and interpreted into geometries referencing Islamic art and through repetition of the hexagon expresses similar ideas.

The motif welcomes the Jamat and guests upon entry, and recurs throughout various architectural features of the Jamatkhana design as a symbol of place, culture and pluralism within our community.

The harmony motif, is another expressive artwork on the walls on the Jamatkhana , where each family was given a tile to paint and this was created into a mosaic  which has been accompanied by a plaque with the following quote:

"Pluralism does not mean the elimination of difference, but the embrace of difference.  Genuine pluralism understands that diversity does not weaken a society, it strengthens it.  In an ever-shrinking, ever more diverse world, a genuine sense of pluralism is the indispensible foundation for human peace and progress."

MAWLANA HAZAR IMAM
Opening ceremony of the New Headquarters of the Global Center for Pluralism
May 16th, 2017

One prominent wall in the multipurpose hall displays the symbols of all the Aga Khan Developmental Network Agencies as a reminder to the Jamat of the various agencies around the world that contribute to improving the Quality of Life under the leadership of Maulana Hazar Imam.