Plains Community Hub One Step Closer
Written by John Freer on June 1, 2023
By John Freer
Its beginnings were over three years ago, and reality moved one step closer yesterday for a new Hauraki Plains Community Hub.
At the Hauraki Plains District Council meeting the $4.8 million budget was approved. The Ngatea-based Hub includes the re-build of the service centre, library and the establishment of community spaces.
Extensive local consultation started in 2019 with a working party getting council support in 2021 to build a new facility. Mayor Toby Adams said the new premises would replicate the style and quality of similar facilities in Waihi and Paeroa.
The budget includes $3,667,716 of unbudgeted expenditure and budgeted capital expenditure of $1,132,284 from 2022/23 to the 2023/24 financial year.
Provision was made in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan to upgrade the service centre and library located in Ngatea. An extensive engagement with the community took place in 2019/2020 to capture their aspirations for the facility.
A working party was set up to review the options of refurbishment or a rebuild of the existing Council building. The decision by Council, July 2021, was to build a new facility, at the current location.
“The high-level concept plan came back at a cost significantly higher than what had been budgeted for,” says Mayor Toby Adams.
“Construction costs have increased significantly after COVID and with inflation, and as a minimum the Community Hub should be the same style and quality as what was built in Paeroa and Waihi and we believe with this budget we can achieve that.”
“We want to thank the community and working group for all their time and feedback in ensuring we get the right elements in the design,” says Mayor Toby.
“We also acknowledge the timeline has taken longer than we had hoped, but it is important to get it right and we are really looking forward to this project being started. Today’s decision was an important one to make that happen.”
No construction timelines are available yet, these will be determined by a proposed project team.