Monday, April 22, 2024

Ngaruawahia art centre finds permanent home

NGĀ ART and Waikato District Council have celebrated the purchase of a permanent home for Ngaruawahia’s local art centre.

The organisation has been leasing the property at 18 Herschel Street for several years since their previous location on Great South Road was deemed earthquake-prone in 2011 and had to be demolished.

Council says the Herschel Street site has proven to be an ideal location for their classes and activities. The spacious property offers ample room for on-site parking, outdoor markets, exhibitions, shows, productions, and a variety of classes.

Several other sites were considered as possible locations for NGĀ ART, but none met the needs of the centre. So, when the property came on the market, Waikato District Council seized the opportunity to purchase the site, securing the centre’s continued operation for the community.

NGĀ ART host a range of activities for people of all ages, including children’s art and dance classes, Te Reo Maaori classes, adult and kaumatua art classes with the goal of enriching and uplifting the culture, creativity and well-being of Ngaruawahia. 

“NGĀ ART are thrilled and relieved that, after 15 years of work with Waikato District Council and many contributing locals, we now have a permanent home to deliver our vision,” says the NGĀ ART centre manager, Laura Milward.

“He honongaa auaha o ngaa iwi katoa – a culture of creativity woven for all. We look forward to serving our community in our permanent home.”

Council is delighted to see NGĀ ART finally find a perpetual residence too, with this being an important opportunity to support arts and culture in our district, says Mayor Jacqui Church.

“It’s wonderful to see that promise realised, and to be able to assist NGĀ ART to continue providing their invaluable services to the people of Ngaruawahia and surrounding areas,” says Mayor Church.

“I had the opportunity to visit their centre, and the artwork on display is just beautiful. It’s fantastic to know that the building can remain in their care and see many more classes held and masterpieces created there.”

Council’s agreement to support the centre to find a permanent home was made in 2011. Funding was allocated from the Ngaruawahia Facilities Targeted Rate and the district strategic property budget.

Following the purchase, 18 Herschel Street will be entrusted to NGĀ ART, allowing the group to use, manage and care for the heritage scheduled building for the benefit of the community under a Deed of Trust. 

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