The Puia family at the heart of the Onehunga 312 Hub
By Hanalei Temese
In a suburb known to be home to the New Zealand Warriors is also a home created by the Puia siblings. Nestled in the back streets of Onehunga, the 312 Hub has become a one-stop creative shop for generations to come.
Co-Founder and eldest sibling Amiria Puia-Taylor created the hub after being offered the space rent-free back in 2016.
“This place is about our young people coming together… Four years later it’s a space where our young people are the decision makers,” says Amiria.
The hub is strategically made up of five creative sections that are accessible to youth free of charge. All equipment is either supplied through funding or donated.
“The 312 Hub have a business plan called “Beautify Onehunga”, and the way we can do that is through arts activation, arts education and arts hustle,” she says.
Before long, Amiria brought on her siblings Sabrina and Joseph to create a family organisation dynamic that works well for them.
“I was always there supporting in the background, but I could never see myself here… My brother was good at music and my sister was good at art, and I was sort of always in the middle like, ‘I don’t know where to go,’” says Sabrina.
“My sister (Amiria) always helped me to remember my power in how I engage with people, so that’s the sort of the element I bring to the hub, is that I come with this wealth of experience in serving people,” she said.
Identifying the need for young musicians in the community, their brother Joseph also wanted to contribute to the hub.
“I left my day job and I was like, ‘I need to start learning how to use my skills to my advantage to help people,’” he said.
“One of the young boys from here had an interest in music, so I helped him out a little bit, taught him how to record… and I love that vibe that it gave me, so I knew if I could create that over and over again that it could be something that I could bring to the hub,” says Joseph.
With family at the heart of the hub, the focus behind what youth are in need of never goes a miss.
“I really hope that any young person can feel seen,” says Amiria.
“That their voice and what they say is heard… It’s going to end up in these founding documents that are going to be the huge legacy we leave behind.”