Ruapehu District Council and Uenuku have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on how they will jointly develop a shared multi-purpose Community Hub for the Raetihi area. As well as housing Council’s service centre and a head office for Uenuku and related iwi activities it is envisaged that the Hub will accommodate a number of other services and facilities for current and future community activities.
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said Council was excited about the opportunity to work in partnership with Uenuku on what will be a cornerstone asset for improving community cohesion and the revitalisation of the township.
“The proposal for either upgrading Council’s current Service Centre or investing in a new Hub was first raised in the 2018/28 Long Term Plan (LTP) and a subsequent business case looking at these options indicated a community preference for developing a Hub,” he said.
Uenuku Project Sponsor Steve Hirini added that by working together Uenuku and Council would be able to provide iwi members and the wider community a flexible, multi-function facility well beyond that which either organisation could deliver on its own.
“In addition to providing a modern administration facility seen as critical to supporting the work required to meet Uenuku’s aspirations for its people, the building will be a reflection of our journey, providing a place to store and display our taonga and tell our stories,” he said. “Together with the recently announced $2m government investment in the Waimarino Health Centre the Community Hub will help deliver the vision of a thriving Raetihi where its communities have access to the best possible services and facilities.”
Overseeing the project is a Steering Group comprising representatives from Council and Uenuku supported by a specialist Project Manager Cathy McCartney, who had a leading role in the development of the successful Community Hub project in Foxton. Ms McCartney said that critical to the success of the project was the engagement of Raetihi communities.
“Through to until the end of June we want to hear from as many stakeholders as possible including community, sport, sector and interest groups, businesses, schools, organisations, marae, agencies, individuals of all ages and others with a stake in Raetihi’s future. We want to hear about your vision and thoughts on what a Community Hub could be, including the facilities, services, types of spaces, look and feel you need or want from a multi-function space and where you think it should be. After July the goal is to consolidate all this feedback into a Request for a Proposal (RFP) which can be provided to suitably qualified architects to develop a winning concept plan from.”
Ms McCartney said that opportunities for people to have their say will be widely advertised in the Ruapehu Bulletin, on local radio Peak FM, and online including Council’s Facebook page and website<https://www.ruapehudc.govt.nz/…/…/Raetihi-Community-Hub.aspx>.
“In the interim if people need more information please contact me on either 0274 555 448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org,” she said.
Photo: Pauline Welch, Margaret Hawthorne (Ruapehu District Council), Cathy McCartney and Steve Hirini discuss the next stage of the Community Hub Project over a coffee at Angel Louise cafe in Raetihi.