members gathered in Whatawhata this week to mark an important milestone in a
project that will improve the social cohesion and wellbeing of residents of the
Place is the label placed on a new community facility for Whatawhata, and the
first sod was turned on site following a karakia from Ngāti Māhanga kaumatua on Monday.
including Whatawhata School students, then gathered at the Village Café to
acknowledge all those who have been involved with the project so far.
Whatawhata Community Association (WCA) has worked closely with Waikato District
Council to raise funds, engage with the community and plan for the construction
phase of the project.
Place will be a 244 sq m building with one large open room with provisions for
sound reducing dividers, as well as toilets, a kitchen, a servery and storage
will be located in the open space with a communal carpark behind the Village
Café, just a short walk from the village centre and Whatawhata School.
to be an inclusive, communal space, Our Place will be a hub where people can
connect with neighbours and build strong relationships that enhance community
users of this community hub would include the school, sports and community
groups, public health nurse, youth groups, playgroups and Waikato District
Council for community engagement.
completion of the building, there will be an independent board of locals
responsible for the everyday running of the facility. They will be supported by
Waikato District Council.
of the main drivers of the project, Newcastle Ward Councillor Noel Smith, said
it had been a long road to get to this point, but he was looking forward to the
opening of the facility.
am proud that I have been part of the steering group that got this project over
inception it has taken nine years and reaching the construction phase is the
result of a major effort and achievement by a dedicated community committee led
by Glenn McLennan,” said Cr Smith.
Place is more than just a brick-and-mortar building. It’s a significant moment
in our community’s history, a moment that they have had a hand in creating
which will lead to an increased sense of ownership for years to come.”
project is being managed by Waikato District Council and the expected
completion date is the end of November 2022.