Along with the community centre, The Y will also manage the Youth Hub which is due to open in the city later in the year once an appropriate venue is secured. Integrating the two facilities together will lead to a greater range of programmes and services, which will bring greater benefits to the community,
Both Te Pokapū Hapori and the Youth Hub are key initiatives for the Pōneke Promise, a community-driven partnership between the Wellington City Council, Police, retail and hospitality sectors, as well as other key groups to promote a safer, more vibrant and welcoming central city.
Chief Executive of The Y Brendan Owens says the group is thrilled to work in partnership with the Council to manage both spaces, and the opportunities it brings to build programmes and connection across the two sites to better meet the needs of residents and young people in the city.
“Our vision of building strong kids, strong families and strong communities means we are the ideal partner to support Wellington City Council in creating safe spaces in the city, where people can connect, be active, have a sense of ‘belonging’ and just be themselves.
“We’d like to congratulate Council and its partners on the fantastic outcomes of the Pōneke Promise so far, and we’re proud to be a part of those outcomes going forward.”
Mayor Andy Foster echoes Owens’ enthusiasm. He is delighted to have The Y on board and can’t wait to see the space come to life for the community.
“Increasing community spaces is a key focus for the Pōneke Promise, and we’re confident that The Y are the right people to translate our vision of the space into a vibrant, safe and welcoming hub in the city. They’re one of the best in the business and we’re delighted to have them on board.
“It’s been designed as a space where diverse inner-city communities can come together and socialise, play, study, create and feel a sense of ownership and belonging. This positive presence has been somewhat missing in the central city, especially since the temporary closure of the central library and the arrival of COVID. We’re hoping to change that with increased provision of community spaces as part of the wider Pōneke Promise programme.”
The community centre opening is just one of the initiatives to improve safety in Te Aro. There’s also the community space Te Wāhi Āwhina, Te Pā Pori, security initiatives and increased policing.
Councillor Jill Day, who helped facilitate a hui along with Councillor Tamatha Paul last year to see what young people wanted from a Youth Centre, is excited to see both hubs coming to life with this new partnership.
“We’ve worked with a wide range of communities and advisory groups, from all backgrounds, lifestyles, ages and locations, to establish these sites to address their needs, requirements, and most importantly, to provide a space and place with a sense of belonging, of whanaungatanga, for everybody who visits them.
“Our communities have been hit hard by the challenges we’ve all faced over the past couple of years, and now we need to build the foundations from which our hapori can rise up from together.”
Te Pokapū Hapori will officially open in May with a dawn blessing – details to be confirmed.