Deserted bowling club earmarked for Hamilton’s Pasifika hub
A $10m plan for a Pasifika hub in central Hamilton - dreamed of for 20 years - is moving ahead. A "large modern fale" is proposed for the disused Stadium Bowling Club across from Hamilton's FMG Stadium Waikato. K'aute Pasifika Trust is behind the pan-Pasifika community hub proposal and Hamilton City Council has given its support for the central city site.
Inside would be a medical clinic and nurse services, an early childhood centre, and social workers, a statement from K’aute Pasifika said. Orchestras Central has also expressed interest in the site. “A hub brings people in, it doesn’t set us apart,” K’aute Pasifika Trust chief executive Rachel Karalus said in a statement.
“The future of our community is more and more diverse, and we’re really excited about creating an environment for all our community to enjoy – whether we are talking about Pasifika, music, sports, arts or recreation.”
The hub will be much more than a building, she said and would allow the trust to deliver its health and wellness programmes across the Waikato region.
Trust Waikato has approved funding of $2.1 million toward the fale and hub design and construction. Overall, the project is expected to cost about $10m. Last week, Hamilton City councillors narrowly voted to support K’aute Pasifika’s bid to lease the Stadium Bowling Club site. Some councillors wanted the decision to wait until council finished a master plan for the area the bowling club is in – the West Town Belt. But committee chairwoman Councillor Paula Southgate used her casting vote to support K’aute Pasifika’s plans, provided their hub fitted in with the eventual master plan, met regulatory requirements, and that they worked with Orchestras Central.
K’aute Pasifika will work with Primary Health Care Ltd to develop its medical practice and with Creators Educational Trust for the early childhood centre. The trust first proposed the hub concept in 1999, so Karalus said they’ve been dreaming of it for 20 years. “There’s really nothing like this in New Zealand so we think [Hamilton City Council’s Community, Services, and Environment] committee is showing a great deal of courage and leadership.” Around five per cent of New Zealand’s total Pacific population lives in the Waikato DHB region, a statement said, and the population is expected to surpass 26,000 in the next decade.