Hamilton City Council’s advocacy of a new Pan Pasifika community hub has been rewarded with an announcement of government funding for the project.
K’aute Pasifika Trust will receive $8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build a purpose-built facility at Hinemoa Park on Hamilton’s Western Town Belt. The $6 million grant and $2 million loan will kick start work on an integrated health centre, an early childhood learning facility and an open fale-style space for community and cultural events.
The project has been planned for more than 20 years to support a fast-growing Pacific population in Hamilton and the wider Waikato.
Today’s announcement was welcomed by Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate who has backed the project since it began.
“This is a huge endorsement of the incredible work began by Peta Karalus and then picked up and carried on by her daughter Rachel and her team. They should all be really proud of themselves because they have achieved something hugely important for our city and for the Pasifika community. I’m absolutely chuffed for them.”
In September this year Southgate’s long-standing support for the project was endorsed by Hamilton City Councillors who voted unanimously to transfer ownership of a the vacant bowling clubhouse on the site to the Trust, in readiness for development.
The Council also agreed to grant the Trust a 30-year lease, conditional on getting resource consents and obtaining full funding for each facility before construction begins on the central city site.
“In September Councillors were told an initial application for government funding had been rejected which felt like a real blow. We could all clearly see the need for this facility in our city and knew it would be a huge asset to Hamilton,” Southgate said.
Since then, Council has continued to advocate strongly for the project in Wellington because “it ticked every single box”, she said.
“Rachel and the team at K’aute Pasifika Trust have fought tooth and nail for a long time to get this hub off the ground and Council wanted to support that – and has.”
“The government has responded incredibly well and I’m thrilled and relieved to see funding now locked in. The benefits for our city, and particularly Pacific peoples, will positively impact generations of families. We can’t ask for more than that.”