Martinborough’s Waihinga Centre opening on Monday
Martinborough’s Waihinga Centre will open its doors for the first time to the local community and invited guests at a grand opening celebration on Monday next week (10 December).
The opening marks the culmination of a six-year project to save the old Town Hall and build a modern multi-purpose community hub. It has been a joint partnership between the Waihinga Charitable Trust and the South Wairarapa District Council.
The earthquake-prone Town Hall has been strengthened and refurbished, retaining its original character, to provide a venue for council meetings, community gatherings, performances and private event hire. The adjoining new extension houses the Martinborough i-SITE visitor centre, library, toy library, Plunket and Knucklebone coffee bar, as well as meeting rooms for community groups.
South Wairarapa Mayor, Viv Napier, says, “The Waihinga Centre is a building for the community, from the community. It would not have been possible without the generous support of time and money from members of the community.”
“It also offers a unique destination with the convenience of all the amenities of Martinborough Memorial Square on its doorstep. The new Centre will likely attract events and visitors from far and wide, bringing more tourist spending to the region.”
Waihinga Charitable Trust Chair, Max Stevens, says, “the motivation was always to create a community centre for everyone to enjoy. For all those who have been involved, they can feel very proud of the legacy they leave behind.”
The project’s total budget was $5.332 million (including $200K contingency). The Council provided $2.8 million towards the project and the remaining was raised by the Waihinga Charitable Trust through community donations and grants.
The blessing of the Centre, which starts at 11am, will be conducted by Ngāti Hikawera, who as the local hapū and mana whenua of the Martinborough area, have a significant local standing. A standing which will be recognised formally at the pōwhiri when they are welcomed home alongside our guests and wider community.
The Centre will be opened by former Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Wyatt Creech. Tours of the building will follow and the Centre will be open for business from 1pm.