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Wilderness Hutt Gifted to Ngāti Wai

Thursday February 7, 2013

Wilderness Hutt Gifted to Ngāti Wai

An 18 month search for someone to take over a Wilderness Hut and use it for Youth and whanau, has been concluded.

On February 1, an agreement was finalised between Matariki Forests Rayonier New Zealand Ltd, Ngāti Wai Trust Board and Presbyterian Support Northern (PSN) that will see the Hut and its facilities again, being used to meet the needs of the community.

The Northland Wilderness Experience was established by PSN in 1985 as a pilot research project working with young people who were at risk of being caught in destructive and self-destructive lifestyles. The gift includes the hut, the two Waka Ama and trailer, plus a large assortment of kayaks and associated equipment.

The programme catered for youth and their families, and has been provided successfully by Family Works Northern (PSN sub brand) for many years, up until about two years ago when it was ceased due to the lack of funding. PSN then became the main funder. Over the years it has received important financial assistance from Trusts and Foundations, in addition to funding from Child Youth and Family.

The hut was originally purchased from the Lions Club Whangarei and is situated at 2513 Russell Road, Oakura Bay, 50 km from Whangarei, on leased land by Matariki Forests, Rayonier NZ Ltd and subject to a ‘peppercorn’ lease. In recalling its successful past, the PSN Board and CEO had revisited external funding and partnership opportunities in an effort to provide a lifeline to the venture.

In the interim the hut grounds were restored to a working condition and the interior repainted using Department of Corrections Community Service workers. The Bush hut is quite a large building that has nine bunks divided into two areas obviously for boys and girls. There are two separate bathroom facilities, a large kitchen and lounge area, a closed in porch area, a storage room and a large deck that can be covered by a sail cover.


www.psn.org.nz + www.northern.familyworks.org.nz

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