Creating community spaces in Pokeno

29 July 2016
A mini book exchange for Pokeno

Pokeno residents are invited to a workshop ahead of the next meeting of the Pokeno Community Committee to discuss ideas for revitalising community and public spaces in the township.

The workshop, at 6pm on Tuesday 9 August at the Pokeno Community Hall, provides an opportunity for Waikato District Council staff  and the Committee to discuss the concept of ‘placemaking’ with the community and invite suggestions about how Pokeno residents can make public spaces ‘their own’.

To help spark off ideas, Waikato District Council General Manager Strategy and Support Tony Whittaker has spent two days in his home workshop building a mini ‘book exchange’ that he has donated to the Pokeno Community Committee (along with books  donated from one of the Council’s libraries).

The Committee is inviting the community to help decide where to erect the mini book exchange to encourage low-key sociable activity in one of the town’s public spaces.

Tony Whittaker says, “The idea behind placemaking is to encourage a collaborative community process for revitalising public spaces.  Mini book exchanges are a good way to start the process to encourage  residents to reclaim their public spaces for community use so that our townships are not just designed for cars and shopping centres with barren, empty spaces in between.”

Mini book exchanges are also becoming a popular response for book lovers who do not have a local public library he says.

Pokeno Community Committee chair Helen Clotworthy says, “Placemaking is the sort of concept that fits well with our town’s vision.  The mini book exchange is a lovely surprise gift and gratefully received.”

Information about placemaking , the philosophy behind it and the advantages for our district can be found on the Waikato District Council website (search for ‘placemaking’ on the site), or by contacting the Waikato District Council community placemaking team Betty Connolly (Betty.Connolly@waidc.govt.nz) and Lianne Van Den Bemd (Lianne.VanDenBemd@waidc.govt.nz).

Ends

Photo available on request: Waikato District Council community placemaking team (from left) Lianne Van Den Bemd and Betty Connolly and General Manager Strategy and Support Tony Whittaker (right) present the mini book exchange to Pokeno Community Committee chair Helen Clotworthy (centre).

For more information please contact:
Crystal Beavis
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633
communications@waidc.govt.nz