The mammoth Pukuatua St Salvation Army premises is finally open, just not officially.

The building, previously Van Dyks Megastore, was taken over and has been redesigned to become the Salvation Army hub for the city.

After months of work to get up and running, the hub was now mostly open.

It was not completely operational at this stage, however, Sunday church services, the Family Store and the foodbank were now in action.


People were able to come and collect items from the foodbank every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or come for Sunday church weekly.

There were also a number of Christmas events planned for the coming weeks in the new premises.

One part of the new building that has been highly popular with locals was the new and improved Family Store.

After closing their other store down the road earlier this week, teams have been working hard to get everything moved in and up and running at the new premises.

It opened for business again on Wednesday.

Family Store co-ordinator Lisa Worthington said the old store had been getting to the "end of its life" and it was time for something new.

She said she had received loads of feedback about how big and clean the new store was.

Not only that, Worthington said the quality of the donations had lifted greatly.


Just yesterday she had a man come in with loads of handmade wooden shelves, all professionally whitewashed.

"It's like walking into a flash boutique now."

She said business had been steady and stock was flying off the shelves.

The Family Store was always looking for more volunteers and donations, especially to fill the new shop, she said.

Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said the opening had been "lovely" and the new shop was "just stunning".

She said it was great what people were bringing in and donating, and thought it would be great for some families struggling to fund Christmas gifts.

"People are giving so much more than just food, it's incredible."

All proceeds from the shop go back into the community ministries, she said.

Although the official opening was not until February 24, the rest of the month would still have people inside for various activities.

A Christmas carols and church service was set to take place at the church on site on the night of December 15. This was alongside the church service held every Sunday there.

On the mornings of December 17 and 19, a Christmas at the Sallies event was going to be held for young families.

The day would include Christmas crafts and storytelling for children who wanted to come along.