New home found for valued service

Publish Date : 07 Mar 2024
Old Courthouse

Papakura Budgeting Services has been granted a new community lease for the Old Courthouse building at the Central Park Reserve in Wood Street.

The five-year term runs until 28 February 2029, with a $1300 a year lease and an annual maintenance fee of $5000 (both plus GST).

Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says it’s a great outcome for a group that has helped thousands of Papakura residents.

“The Old Courthouse was occupied by SeniorNet until last year, but the lease was surrendered because falling numbers meant the building was being used less.

“On the other hand we had a group that was crying out for a permanent home that was accessible to the community, and we are delighted to be able to ensure budgeting help can continue to be offered, particularly at a time of financial stress for so many.”

When a council-owned building becomes vacant, a review can be carried ahead of an expressions of interest process.

The board called for that to happen late last year, with three applications received, before deciding that the budgeting group be granted the lease.

The single-story 1866 site was originally the Papakura District Council courthouse and is classified as a heritage building.

Papakura Budgeting Service was established in 1974 and has been providing free financial mentoring and budgeting advice to anyone ever since.

Catchpole says it had long outgrown its current council-owned site, just metres away in Wood Street, which offered only limited usable office space.

“Operating six days a week, a team of financial mentors work more than 130 hours with clients, and even offers evening appointments so working clients can be helped.

“The lack of office space has meant privacy has become an issue, and when you consider that in the last 12 months more than 600 new client families have recorded over 1800 visits, it’s clear this is a much-needed group that is doing valuable work.”

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