Since 1995, Wekaweka Valley Community Trust has been developing initiatives to improve the lives of the people of Waimamaku, a small town in between the Waipoua Forest and Opononi in the Far North.
Waimakaku is situated in an isolated area, with poor communication facilities and a great distance from main towns and business districts. Many of the community have limited transport options and are unable to access essential services. Twenty years ago, Wekaweka Valley Community Trust set up the Waimamaku Resource Centre as a way of bringing services to the community and to support the needs and aspirations of community members.
With limited job opportunities in the area, there is a high rate of unemployment and economic hardship in Waimamaku. The Trust aspires for the Resource Centre to become a hub to support social enterprise and help residents to start new businesses, as well as being a place for people to write resumes, apply for jobs and access training opportunities.
Earlier this year, a grant of $25,000 was awarded to the Trust towards operating costs for the resource centre. Acting as a space for many community groups to run their services, the centre also helps to facilitate connections between groups. The existence of the centre has played an important role in increasing the physical and social wellbeing of community members.
“The Resource Centre is a true asset to the community. It has been operational for over twenty years now, which is a true testament to the dedication and resiliency of the people of Waimamaku. The space is always buzzing with activity - people using the facilities and socializing with friends. For such a small community on the West Coast having a community space is vital for the well-being of the people here."
"Without the resource centre there isn't any real social cohesion. There's no place where people can meet and get to know other local people. The resource centre has a number of services for the community to share and contribute to, including a directory of local skills. There has been a strong and growing patronage and respect for this resource centre and its directors."