Members of Raetihi community groups teamed up with Uenuku iwi and Ruapehu District Council representatives last week in a road trip to contemporary cultural centres in Horowhenua.

Organised by Uenuku project manager Steve Hirini, the road trip arose from ongoing discussion among Raetihi groups on revitalising Raetihi township and the possibility of creating a new shared community space.

The group toured two very different community hubs in Foxton and Levin. Guided by Horowhenua District Council’s Community Centre Manager Hendrix Warren, the group first visited Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton – an award-winning partnership between the council and two Trusts representing local iwi Māori and the national Dutch community. It opened in November last year, combining council services, a cultural centre, museum galleries, library and café, and connecting the township with a broad range of community activities.

The group also visited Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, the Horowhenua Culture & Community Centre in Levin, which offers a wide range of services including visitor information, a library, a youth space and recording studio, a radio station, an AA agency, a business centre, and a café.

Horowhenua District Council CEO Dave Clapperton met with the group at Te Takere in Levin and provided useful insight around the process of planning, creating and running the two well-used facilities.

(Photos courtesy Rebecca Van Orden, Ruapehu District Council)

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