Papakura locals are heading out to the theatre, going swimming, visiting the library and enjoying a spot of art in increasing numbers.
Figures provided to Papakura Local Board show that when the Hawkins Theatre closed in January for annual maintenance, it re-opened with the Youth Theatre Company fully subscribed for the first time in more than a decade.
Intermediate and Senior subscriptions also rose while at the Massey Park Aquatic Centre casual user, swimming school and after-school care numbers were all also up, as they were at the Papakura Leisure Centre stadium, now running at 95 per cent capacity.
Board chair Brent Catchpole says its good to see numbers returning. “We have tremendous facilities, but they only stay tremendous if people use them.
“Perhaps we are seeing the start of a new normal after what seems like a lifetime of COVID disruptions.”
He says the quarterly report provided to the board also showed mara kai and food security initiatives saw the community gardens at Waiata Shores, Rollerson Park, Smiths Ave and the Umataha Tongan Garden thriving.
“Papakura Youth Council has been engaging with the community, we’ve seen adult fitness equipment put in at Hingaia Park and work is continuing on upgrading various play space in the area.”
Catchpole says severe weather did see various activations in parks cancelled, although 48 activations were successfully delivered, one recording a record high attendance of 294 people.
“Our libraries continue to provide services that are well-loved and supported by the community.
“We can’t speak highly enough of our library staff, who even helped customers complete their Census forms, continued to offer a huge number of programmes, hosted Justice of the Peace services and everything from public computing to services for the housebound.”
The Papakura Art Gallery highlight was Cirque du Killing, a circus-themed show by a young co-operative that included local artists, with kaumatua Sir Haaere Williams also working on a partnership with the gallery for Matariki.
Papakura Museum delivered 15 programmes, with almost 3000 participants, multiple school visits and teacher workshops, as well as public talks and outreach programmes, while the community-led Smiths Ave Night Market continues to grow, with a waiting list for vendors now needed.
Want to stay up to date with all the latest news from your area? Sign up for our Papakura Local Board E-news and get it delivered to your inbox each month.