Residents in the village have been pushing for a meeting place since its old hall was pulled down back in 2008 when the village was under the Manawatū District Council boundary.
Bunnythorpe became part of Palmerston North in 2012 and in 2018 the community and Council recommenced discussions about constructing a community centre in the village.
Mayor Grant Smith says Council recognised how important it was for Bunnythorpe to have its own centre.
“We know Bunnythorpe residents value their rural lifestyle and believe that a place dedicated to community activities will increase the connectedness of their neighbourhood. This multi-purpose facility will do just that. The community centre will play a pivotal role in bringing people together and building an even stronger and better-connected community.”
The centre has a 168sqm meeting room, a kitchen, changing rooms and bathrooms. It has also been designed in a way that it could be expanded in the future.
The Chair of the Bunnythorpe Community Centre Association, Anne Russell, says it has been a long journey for the community to reach this point.
“It is a very exciting time and we look forward to Level 1 when we can have the official opening. Events of this size cannot occur under the current Covid-19 guidelines but there will be no stopping us when we can. We would not have got to this point without generous donations of time and money from businesses and the community, and these will be acknowledged on the thank you board which will go up in the centre. Our community are very grateful.”
The final 10 homes of Stage 2 of our Papaioea Place development were also blessed this morning, with new tenants ready to move in next month.
In July, the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, opened the first 18 homes of Stage 2 of the social housing development.
The government’s Covid-19 recovery response infrastructure programme contributed $4.6 million towards Stage 2, with Council funding the remaining $600,000.
Next year, we will start on Stage 3 of the project, which sees us building a further seven homes on the site and a tenant lounge.
Before construction started at Papaioea Place, there were 48 homes available. Once we complete construction next year there will be 85 homes – a 77% increase!
In our 10-Year Plan we’ve also committed to spending an additional $14 million on social housing over the coming years. We’re currently determining whether that will be on new sites or following a similar model to what we’ve done at Papaioea Place – that is, maximising existing social housing land allocations.