Making a place the hub of a community is one thing, being the hub of the hub is another.
Locals call the Whangaparāoa Community Hub the place where everything happens, and ensuring it does falls on the ‘community activator’ Sara Mason.
Supported by the hub's steering group and Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, Sara pulls everything together and is a point of contact for all hub users. Along with 'business activator' Sarah Carr, she supports groups running events to activate public spaces on Whangaparāoa Peninsula and also promotes events organised at the hub.
Set up as a partnership project with Future Whangaparāoa Trust, the Hibiscus Coast Family Centre Trust and a steering group of local service providers, the hub opened in March and is a space where residents and businesses connect and collaborate.
"Opening the doors of a community space to explore what is needed by the community has exceeded our expectations. It has become a buzz of activity thanks to Sara and our volunteers.
"We are excited about continuing to develop and activate the space," says Future Whangaparāoa trustee Kym Burke.
A well-being network gives locals access to family services and free health advice including programmes offered by Hibiscus Coast Parents Centre and Career Mum. For a full list, visit whangaparaoa.info.
Supporting business owners is a function of Future Whangaparāoa and the hub offers co-working days, training, networking events and free business advice. The large open-plan area is ideal for workshops and events such as Make Give Live and the Repair Cafe, and hub space is available for hire.