A shared multi-purpose community hub for the Raetihi area is a step closer to reality and the community will be invited to have a say on it.
Ruapehu District Council and Uenuku have agreed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on how they will jointly develop the hub, which will include the council's service centre and a head office for Uenuku and related iwi activities.
It is envisaged the hub will also accommodate other services and facilities for current and future community activities.
Ruapehu mayor Don Cameron said the council was excited about the opportunity to work in partnership with Uenuku "on what will be a cornerstone asset for improving community cohesion and the revitalisation of the township".
"The proposal for either upgrading council's current service centre or investing in a new hub was first raised in the 2018/28 long term plan and a subsequent business case looking at these options indicated a community preference for developing a hub," Cameron said.
Uenuku project sponsor Steve Hirini said by working together Uenuku and the council would be able to provide iwi members and the wider community with a flexible, multi-function facility well beyond what either organisation could deliver on its own.
"In addition to providing a modern administration facility seen as critical to supporting the work required to meet Uenuku's aspirations for its people, the building will be a reflection of our journey providing a place to store and display our taonga and tell our stories," Hirini said.
"Together with the recently announced $2 million Government investment in the Waimarino Health Centre, the community hub will help deliver the vision of a thriving Raetihi where its communities have access to the best possible services and facilities."
A steering group comprising representatives from the council and Uenuku will oversee the project. They will be supported by specialist project manager Cathy McCartney, who had a leading role in the development of the community hub project in Foxton.
McCartney said the engagement of Raetihi communities was critical to the success of the project.
"Through to until the end of June we want to hear from as many stakeholders as possible including community, sport, sector and interest groups, businesses, schools, organisations, marae, agencies, individuals of all ages and others with a stake in Raetihi's future.
"We want to hear about your vision and thoughts on what a community hub could be, including the sort of facilities, services, types of spaces, look and feel you need or want from a multi-function space and where you think it should be."
After July the feedback will help form a document which can be provided to architects to develop a concept plan.
McCartney said opportunities for people to have their say would be advertised and on the council's Facebook page and website.
For more information contact Cathy McCartney on 0274 555 448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org