FAQs

Q?

What is a community House?

A.

A Community House is a central facility for social support services in a co-operative and supportive environment. It provides integrated social services together in a hub for the whole community.

Q?

How was the project initiated?

A.

In 2004 a study initiated by QLDC identified a need for community organisations servicing Wanaka to have a centralised hub. The Anglican Church championed the construction of a community facility on a portion of their land in McDougall Street on a long term lease back basis. It was recognised that the facility should be secular so the ownership and management of the project was transferred to the Wanaka Community House Charitable Trust in 2011.

Q?

What is the relationship with the Church? How much control do they have?

A.

The Church is a community stakeholder in the project with one member sitting on the WCHCT board, (Bishop Kelvin Wright). There is a legal lease agreement that has been signed by the Church and the WCHCT leasing the land for a period of 35 years at $1 per annum. They will be tenants and be able to use the hall on Sundays and Christian holidays. They will also lease an office.

Q?

How much for the land?

A.

The Anglican Church have generously leased the land for a period of 35 years for $1 per annum. This is worth an estimated minimum of $1 million to the overall project

Q?

What opposition has there been?

A.

There is a small group of people within the Church who believe in the community house concept, but do not wish to see such a facility on the Church land. The Church has gone through a lengthy process to ensure that they have followed process and that the wishes of the majority are being represented. All projects have some opposition.

Q?

Why not use existing office space?

A.

Unfortunately current commercial office rents do not make this a viable option.

Q?

Is the facility big enough?

A.

Initially the facility with be sufficient for the needs identified. However the area is growing at a rapid rate and it is inevitable that the needs will outgrow the facility in time. It is possible that the council will build a new council building with a social service centre but this would be many years away and does not meet the need now. Another facility can accommodate some extra community needs.

Q?

Is there room to expand?

A.

Not on the current site, however the Church also owns the Vicarage on the corner of Brownston Street. In the future discussions could include using that site.

Q?

What about parking in the area?

A.

The site allows for parking for 16 vehicles and bicycle parking. The two street frontages also have adequate parking with even more parking on Brownston Street.

Q?

What will it cost?

A.

At this stage we are estimating $3.5 million. We will have more accurate costs after the QS can be done on the detailed drawings. These will be completed after Resource Consent is granted.
As the capital costs are to be raised when building the facility, we expect that the running costs will be kept low. To reduce these further the building will be energy efficient and have photovoltaic panels on the roof for reducing operating costs.
Independent feasibility studies have shown that the project is viable.

Q?

Who will fund it?

A.

We will fundraise through applying for grants, running our own fundraisers and by asking other groups to support our cause for a one-off year. We’ll also be looking for individuals and companies to join us as sponsors or supporters.
We will be seeking funding from key supporters of facilities such as these eg, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Lotteries, Sargood Bequest, Alexander McMillan Trust, Southern Trust, Callis Trust etc.

Q?

What support is there and from who?

A.

There is a great deal of support from those who work servicing the social needs of our community. The desire to utilise the facility from a service and users point of view is growing. Privacy is a real concern in other venues that can be addressed in a new facility, by alternative entrances and soundproofing.
The Ministry of Social Development has identified this as a critical need “the Wanaka and Upper Clutha communities are seen as an area where service development and provision had not kept up with rapidly growing population”. The Forum recommends “progressing and supporting the development of a Community Hub/Model in Wanaka via the Capability Investment Resource”. [Otago Southland Community Response Model Forum Report. Queenstown – Central Otago Districts. MSD 2013].

Q?

What is council’s involvement?

A.

At this stage council are supportive of the project and we hope to get nominal financial support from the community services fund.

Q?

Who will use the facility?

A.

Everybody! Frequent users will be those who give or need advice, assistance or support. The expansive foyer will be a great place for people to congregate for a casual meeting and a lovely drop in zone for the elderly. The creative arts and music groups will be frequent users for quiet spaces and for rehearsals and performances. The Church will use the facility on Sundays, special holidays and for weddings and funerals.