An iconic building at Queen Elizabeth Park is about to have a new lease and a new lease of life, as two Paekākāriki residents plan a creative space for young people.
Julia Truscott and Himiona Grace have taken over the lease of Te Whare Rāranga ō Paekākāriki at the end of Tilley Rd and aim to provide a place for young people to express themselves through music, film and other art forms.
"We've been inspired by all the creative talent on the Kāpiti Coast and this building offers an opportunity to provide a quality space for young people to express themselves," said Julia who has been teaching music and drama in the village for the past 10 years.
Host to many people and activities over it's long life, the building was originally the Paekākāriki Women's Bowling clubrooms, it has also been a dog kennel club and, most recently beloved home of Te Rau-ō-te-Rangi Weavers' Collective.
"The whare has a long history of community and creative use," said Himiona, a musician and film-maker."
It's not just a heritage building it sits on Ngāti Haumia land.
"We kept the name of the building, given by Carol Reihana of Ngāti Haumia, to continue the kaupapa of weaving stories, people and art and creating a vibrant future for our town."
Fortunate enough to secure the support of Paekākāriki Informed Communities Inc, they are busy raising funds to insulate, soundproof and re-fit the interior.
To kick off their fundraising efforts, they're planning an evening of fun, food and music on December 12 at St Peter's Hall.
The delicious home-made kai will cater to all tastes.
There will also be a live auction with lots of goodies up for grabs as well as games.
To top the night off, live band Pashtag will get everyone dancing.
"Pashtag are a great dance band and they have generously agreed to be our headline act," Julia said.
"The last time they played at St Peter's, the hall was packed and pumping."
There'll also be live music by local children and a spoken word section where Julia and Himiona will be joined by well known local musicians to accompany spoken word artists and freestylers.
The youngest, Lily McMillan at 12 years old and poets Michaela Keeble, Cassandra Barnett, Nadine Hura, Anahera Gildea and musician Isaac Simmonds are among those performing.
The fundraising event will also be an opportunity to share their vision for the space, a creative hub where quality music and film can be produced as well as a place to hold workshops and wānanga for all ages and creative disciplines.
"There's so much talent in the village the whare is the perfect place to set up a studio where the community can come together," Himiona said.
Wai Ata Fun-Raiser, St Peter's Hall, Paekākāriki, Saturday December 12, 6pm-11pm, $20 on the door, dinner and entertainment included.