Charitable trust moves into CBD (+video)

By Shauni James

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A charitable trust hopes its move into a largely unoccupied CBD arcade will give the space a new lease of life and help fill the vacant units.

The Wera Aotearoa Charitable Trust yesterday held an official opening for its new Wera Hub at 1179 Hinemoa St, in the arcade under the Royal Court Apartments.

Mayor Steve Chadwick, the honorary speaker at the opening, said the building was important and it had felt like it was waiting to be populated.

"It's wonderful to have a community organisation coming into the heart of the city."

John Chadwick also spoke as the trust's chairman - he also now provides his barrister services from the same building.

Trust general manager Israel Hawkins said he hoped his trust's move might help fill the empty spaces in the building.

"It would be good to have some activity in this place. I think our establishment in here will start that."

Trust operations manager Teresa Hawkins said the trust was established in 2008 by her and her husband, and had office sites in Rotorua, Tokoroa and Whakatane. She said they had decided if they were to continue with the city focus they needed to move into the town.

Guests at the opening included staff, community providers, board members, Henare Mohi who is on several Maori boards, and an IT specialist, she said.

"All people part of making it happen," she said.

The trust offers services such as assisting the unemployed in finding work, mentoring youth, assisting offenders to reintegrate back into their communities and teenage housing.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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