Rural community hubs funding "a welcome injection of positivity"

Published: Aug 19, 2020

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  • Hawke's Bay

Hawke’s Bay communities will benefit from Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) backing to renovate their local halls and community centres.

A beige wooden rural town hall with a green triangular roof. The sky is grey.

Maraekakaho Hall was built in 1877 and has been the community's hub ever since.

The PGF is providing $290,394 to maintain and renovate seven community halls in the Hastings district.

Hastings District Council Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says the funding is an incredible celebration which gives her community a sense of hope.

"As we navigate our district through the COVID-19 crisis, it is so important our people have places like these community hubs which remain robust and help our people’s social wellbeing," Sandra Hazelhurst says.

"The government’s support is crucial to our recovery and the funding announcement is a welcome injection of positivity," she says.
"We are incredibly grateful to the government’s continual commitment to our district."

One of the communities benefitting from the funding is Maraekakaho which will use the money to improve its local hall. Maraekakaho Hall Trust chair Jonathan Stockley says he is "totally delighted" by the news.

"Our hall is at the very core of our community. It was built in 1877 and since then, it’s been used as a meeting place, a school, a library and a place of great entertainment," Mr Stockley says.

"Our communities need halls that are relevant and sustainable and the PGF’s investment will go a long way to ensuring these places are safe and available for future generations."

As well as the Maraekakaho Hall, six other community centres in the Hastings district will also get funding for much-needed upgrades and maintenance.

They include Te Awanga Community Hall, Waikare and District Sports Club, Matapiro and Districts Recreation Hall, Kereru Hall, Kaiwaka Hall and Poukawa Hall.

Renovating the halls is expected to create 42 local jobs. Each project will take different times to complete, from a week to a month, depending on the amount of work required.