Thursday, July 18, 2024

Wellington hub fulfilling community promise

Wellington’s new community base, Te Wāhi Āwhina, is helping to make social services and local assistance more accessible for people who live in the central city.

Te Wāhi Āwhina opened in May 2021 opposite Te Aro Park and next to the Opera House, and is part of the Pōneke Promise – a coordinated, community-driven initiative creating collective change to keep our city safe.

This partnership approach is reflected at Te Wāhi Āwhina, where people who drop in are connected to a support service that meets their specific need.

Police and agencies such as the Ministry of Social Development, DCM, the Salvation Army, Māori Wardens and Wellington Community Law have a regular presence in the space.

Pastor Joe, from the Salvation Army, says in the short time since Te Wāhi Āwhina opened, there have been numerous success stories, with people accessing food support, housing, and advocacy through the base.

“It’s really awesome having a space where everyone can link up and work together. It’s a place where the community can drop-in, get information or be referred to services – but most importantly, it’s a place where they can come for a cup of tea, a kōrero, and feel heard and supported,” he said.

A red, blue, purple, and white mural of Māori influence on a wall at the back of a room with white flowers on a round table to the left and a yellow couch and tall blue filing cabinet to the right.

The Pōneke Promise is being delivered with partners across local government, NZ Police and the city’s hospitality and retail sectors. Wellington City Council is proud to be part of the collaborative approach, unifying the community and stakeholders while focusing on wellbeing for all city dwellers and users.

A space for the community

Just a few doors along from Te Wāhi Āwhina, a brand new central city community centre will be opening later this year.

Located at 107 Manners Street, central city residents will be able to gather and participate in a programme of meaningful events and activities that improve the quality of life in their communities.

Council says the new space, alongside neighbouring Te Wāhi Āwhina, will provide a strong foundation for other changes that improve safety, vibrancy and community wellbeing in the area, including upgrades to the surrounding laneways, new art installations, and events in Te Aro Park.

To find out more about the Pōneke Promise, visit wellington.govt.nz/the-poneke-promise

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