Kihikihi gets community hub

Kihikihi will soon be getting its own community hub, making services and information more accessible to its residents.

The Kihikihi Community Hub is the brainchild of Margaret Kirk and Sally Clark, who are both new residents to Kihikihi.

Margaret Kirk and Sally Clark

“When Sally and I came here to Kihikihi, there was no place to go to find out what was going on,” Kirk said.

Clark used to live in Nawton and suggested that the pair use Hamilton’s Western Community Centre as a model for their hub and spoke to the centre’s manager Neil Tolan to gain guidance. In October they had a stand at Commsafe’s community day, asking residents what they wanted from a community hub.

Community information, free legal and budgeting advice, youth activities and programmes, and community development projects were some of the most common responses they received.

Free internet access, justices of the peace, and driver licensing could also be on their agenda, but the hub is still in its early stages.

“The focus at the moment is finding out what the community needs,” Kirk said.

Clark is the main email contact for the hub, and they have plans to launch a Facebook page as well.

“Communication is quite difficult in Kihikihi, that is something we need to look at too, how do people want to be notified about events or about local community information?” she said.

The hub will operate out of the Kihikihi Bowling Club and offering its first service next week. Jessica Brown from the Citizens Advice Bureau will be there to give free information and advice from 10am to 1pm on Thursday next week.  Kirk will also be there to answer any questions, as well as asking for community feedback.

“The biggest thing for us is putting the message out there that we’ve made a start, however small that may be, and getting feedback on that,” Clark said.

Kirk and Clark have spoken to a range of contacts, including community advisor Gina Scott, deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk and councillor Marcus Gower, asking for their input and guidance.

“I think it’s a great idea. It’s something we need to do to bring our community together, so that people can access the services that they need,” Gower said.

“I’m pretty stoked that we have a keen group of people that have got it off the ground.”

The Kihikihi Community Hub can be contacted at: kihikihicommunityhub@gmail.com

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