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Press release from Whakatipu Community Hub Charitable Trust
24th Nov 2022
Process Begins for Urgently Needed Facility
The Whakatipu Community Hub Charitable Trust (WCHCT) presented its case to the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) last week and was delighted to receive a conditional thumbs up for the project.
QLDC had recently identified excess land within the Event Centre masterplan and the WCHCT submitted an Expression of Interest. Council has a public process to follow which will now be undertaken, but the Trust is heartened by recognition that such a facility is needed and that its proposal was favourably received.
At the presentation, Chair John MacDonald highlighted the needs of the social sector community for a purpose build environment where similar organisations could work together in a collective facility.
“Both QLDC and the Trust have identified the real difficulties faced by community organisations in securing long term affordable office rental and co-working spaces. With ever increasing rents and lack of suitable space, groups like Happiness House, Plunket and Queenstown Lakes Family Centre urgently need to find operational space that’s both permanent and suitable.”
MacDonald explained to council that the success of a facility meant it had to be central, accessible, and future proofed for the growing community.
“We need a location with good bus routes and close to the facilities that locals use. The Trust had identified Frankton Flats as our preferred location. We are hopeful the process will secure this community land for this purpose and co-purposes such as providing a central social hub to support Civil Defence resilience plans. Covid showed us the importance of a community place where people can go for support and help.”
Jane Guy, Business Manager, Central Lakes Family Services, supported the bid and reiterated to the Council the urgent need for this community facility.
“We desperately need modern bespoke facilities. We are constantly having to help people in our community from cold offices with little or no meeting space. The hub will be an amazing asset to the community and the opportunity to collaborate with other agencies and charities in the same location. This will be invaluable for us.”
A council decision on a draft lease is expected early next year. In the meantime, the Trust continues its planning work which continues to include extensive research into community needs, looking at similar facilities elsewhere and investigating fundraising options.
Further information about the Trust is available on the Website www.whakatipuhub.org.nz
Trust Chair - John MacDonald 027 435 6092
Project Administrator – Sharon Salmons 021 942 328