Mayor to Open Newlands Community Centre

24 March 2009

Newlands' first community centre will be officially opened this Saturday 28 March by Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast.

The official opening at 9.15am will be followed by a day of family entertainment, including kapa haka group performances, cheerleaders, three hip hop dance groups and fun for the children with Zappo the Magician and Puzzle the Clown.

The multi-purpose centre on Batchelor Street has been open to the public since November. It is regularly used by up to 20 community groups, including ESOL, sewing and fitness classes, toastmasters and a play group. It has a toy library, cyber library, drop-in space, meeting rooms, performance space, and an outdoor half-court.

The Council's Social Portfolio Leader, Councillor Ngaire Best, is looking forward to the official opening. "It will be a really exciting day for Newlands to finally have the centre officially opened by the Mayor."

Cr Best says Newlands resident and internationally renowned artist Michel Tuffery will complete a mural to commemorate the opening of the centre. The mural will be made from postage stamps and completed on two of the centre's outside walls.

"We need people to bring us local and international postage stamps for the mural. Saturday is a great time for people to come along to meet Michel and share the story of their postage stamps with him."

The new centre is part of the Council's long-term strategy for redeveloping and improving the Newlands town centre. The Council's Northern Growth Management Framework (2003) identified the need for a new community centre to provide services to local residents and encourage community development.

The Council allocated $1.85 million to the scheme and secured a further $500,000 from the Johnsonville Licensing (Charitable) Trust and $460,000 from the Trusts Charitable Foundation.