Whatawhata community hub

Why are we consulting

The Whatawhata community does not have a designated Council-owned community hub or hall.  We understand that the community wants one. 

If you are a ratepayer within the proposed catchment area you would be impacted financially by its construction.  A copy of the proposed catchment has been provided below.  

Council intends to provide $250,000 funding towards the project but further money would be needed to complete the construction of a hub.

Council and the Whatawhata Residents and Ratepayers Association (WRRA) would be applying for outside funding to complete the project.  As part of the funding application process we are required to provide robust evidence of community support for the project.  Initial meetings with potential funding providers have been positive with a site visit being organised and initial indications suggesting this project is an ideal candidate for funding.    

Before we invest ratepayer money on detailed planning for the construction of a community hub we want to confirm initial engagement that has taken place, that the community does indeed want a community hub in Whatawhata.

Findings of initial engagement

The WRRA has undertaken some initial engagement with the community to find out preferences. 

It found out that the old hall location (behind Village Café) was the preferred site.  Other sites considered were:

  • The road reserve off the end of School Road – ruled out as too small and issues with access, also too close to houses
  • The road reserve on the river side of SH39 in the Village – ruled out as too small and issues with access
  • The Whatawhata Domain (Council-owned reserve land Rugby Club grounds) – ruled out due to potential re-route of road and lack of space, concern around how a governance structure would look   
  • A house for sale adjacent to the school – ruled out due to purchase and renovation cost, was sold soon after.  

The old hall site was the preferred site due to:

  • The ability to create more of a community hub around the village centre
  • Easy access off Rothwell Lane.  This would also give better access to the Urupa
  • General agreement that the commercial land adjacent would have no objection regarding noise, traffic etc.
  • Local Iwi would not like to see this land sold

WRRA has also found that:

  • The community supports a stand-alone, Council owned community hub in Whatawhata
  • The community wants a basic building with an open hall space, a separate meeting room, lockable storage, basic kitchen and toilet  

A high level concept plan has been developed alongside the WRRA, a copy of which is provided below.

What would it cost?

If the $250,000 provided by Council and money sourced from outside funders covers the project cost, you will simply pay for operational costs through a targeted rate levied on a per household basis.  This is the case with all Council community halls and would be between $25 and $35 a year (per household).

However, if there is a funding shortfall after the funding application process, this will also be covered by the targeted rate paid on an annual basis.

As mentioned, the project is dependent on community support.  So should there be an appetite for a community hub and we are successful in applying for outside funding, there will be a second round of consultation to inform you of the cost.

By this stage detailed planning would have been undertaken and we will know the total cost of the project, so we will ask you if you are prepared to pay the amount required to complete the project.

Ratepayers contributing toward Koromatua Memorial Hall

If you are currently paying a targeted rate toward the Koromatua Memorial Hall in the Waipa District this may change. 

Currently, we collect and pay the targeted rate to Waipa District Council.  If a community hub is built in Whatawhata it is proposed that you will no longer pay a targeted rate toward Koromatua Hall and instead be included in the proposed catchment area for the Whatawhata community hub. 

Want to know more?

The WRRA and Council will be holding an open evening at the Whatawhata School on 12 February from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.   Or please contact us on 0800 492 452 or email Donna.Rawlings@waidc.govt.nz

Have your say

Tell us what you think about the proposed community hub.

Have your say online

Or download the feedback form and send it back via:

Email it to consult@waidc.govt.nz

Posting it to: Freepost 803
Waikato District Council
Private Bag 544
Ngaruawahia 3742

Submissions must be received by 5pm on 22 February 2019.

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