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Aranui Community Information Centre To Open

A Community and Housing Information Centre in the Christchurch suburb of Aranui will open this week, signalling the next step in a renewal partnership for that community.

The centre, at 34 Marlow Road Aranui, will be officially opened on Friday 3 August at 11am by the local Member of Parliament, Lianne Dalziel.

A memorandum of understanding for Aranui renewal was signed in September last year between the Christchurch City Council and Housing New Zealand Ltd following discussions between both organisations after a visit to the city by Housing Minister, Mark Gosche.

Since then, the Aranui community itself has become involved in the partnership and the focus of its work is now on a scheduled programme of activities that is led by community involvement.

This partnership aims to "enhance Aranui as a good place to live" by: * Improving the physical environment, including housing, streets, parks and other amenities. * Improving social opportunities and the social environment, including enhancing community pride and capacity, strengthening connections among individuals, business and community groups, and encouraging better services in and to the area. * Improving economic opportunities, including the improvement of employment and work experience opportunities.

In June the Minister of Housing, Mr Gosche, said the Aranui project was attracting widespread support and was the first of several such projects envisaged for communities where there was a high number of Housing New Zealand properties.

"Community renewal is aimed at empowering communities," Mr. Gosche said. "The project focuses not only on improving the community's housing needs but also on employment, training and social services needs," he said. The Community Information Centre is a converted Housing New Zealand rental home and the City Council has employed a Community Consultation Co-ordinator who is based at the centre, along with Housing New Zealand tenancy managers. The Department of Work and Income is also investigating using the centre as a base.

Mr. Gosche said Housing New Zealand wanted to build meaningful partnerships with local communities to make them more vibrant, vigorous and viable.

Other dignitaries at Friday's opening will be the chairwoman of the City Council's Community Services Committee and member of the Housing Working Party, Cr. Carole Anderton, and Maude Boyd, who will represent the community.

Ends


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