Te Puke's current post office could be staying put if the community gets behind a new idea to turn the space into an information and visitor centre.

Te Puke Centre Working Group is in negotiations with NZ Post to become the operators of postal and bill-paying services in Te Puke.

Discussions are also taking place with the current landlord of the building to create a space fit for purpose.

The Working Group's chairwoman Karen Summerhays says this is an opportunity to "save the Te Puke Post Office as we know it".


"It provides an innovative solution to establishing the long-awaited information/ visitor centre and a central shared space," Karen says.

The working group is currently setting up the Te Puke Centre Charitable Trust which will allow the centre to run as part of a social enterprise.

Karen says the charity will govern the Te Puke Centre activities and the NZ Post operation and provide dividends back to the trust to support the centre.

An all-women team makes up the working group, which has been working steadily over the past 18 months to establish the centre.

Karen says the centre will be a "professional, neutral and shared space that supports the community, its visitors and our industries".

The next step in making the idea a reality is raising the capital to purchase the business outright and cover associated costs, Karen says.

"As a community-driven initiative it is also very important that we gauge the level of support of the community for the Te Puke Centre project as a whole," she says.

"To this end, we will launch a crowd funding campaign in the very near future and it is hoped that the community will support this project by pledging a donation, to be paid upon us reaching our target of $65,000."

NZ Post regional manager Phil Barnett, says the working group is NZ Post's preferred partner.

Phil says NZ Post has been pleased with the interest Te Puke locals have showed in providing post and bill services in town, where a number of interested parties came forward.

"We've decided to work with The Te Puke Centre Working Group and think it will be a very good fit for NZ Post and the local community."

For more information:
Email: info@tepukecentre.org.nz
Karen: 0210437858