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Council, college lock in funding

South Wairarapa District Council group manager of partnerships and operations Euan Stitt, chief executive Harry Wilson, Kuranui College principal Simon Fuller, and Board of Trustees chairwoman Belinda Cordwell. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The South Wairarapa District Council and Kuranui College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that formalises the $1 million contribution from the council towards a replacement gymnasium for both the college and South Wairarapa residents.

Council chief executive Harry Wilson, and Kuranui College board chairwoman Belinda Cordwell completed the formality at the college last week.

The agreement has come about from a collaborative effort among the council, Kuranui, and the Ministry of Education, which is providing the remaining funds required.

The council’s decision was largely in recognition of the many benefits for not just the students of Kuranui College but also the wider Wairarapa community.

Kuranui College principal Simon Fuller was present at the signing and was “delighted” with the progress.

“Our students will relish the use of brand-new facilities.

“At the college, we encourage active participation in all sports, including indoor sports, which are particularly popular during winter.

“A huge thanks to our South Wairarapa District Council for helping make this a reality for us.”

The concept design developed by the Ministry of Education is based on similar facilities provided to schools and colleges across New Zealand.

It includes a full-sized netball court, facilities for other sports, changing rooms, storage, toilet and shower facilities, and a mezzanine viewing area for supporters.

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said the aim of the public contribution was to allow the general public to access the facilities after school hours [from 5pm to 10pm], on weekends and during school holidays.

“A brand-new facility should be popular with community groups, sports clubs and anyone looking for a large ‘state of the art’ venue.

“It should serve the entire Wairarapa community very well.”

Hiring rates would differ for non-profit and commercial/sole traders, with non-profit groups being charged just a nominal fee based on running costs.

All users must comply with Kuranui College policies including health and safety, alcohol on school property, and maintain the college’s smoking and vape-free status at all times.

Concept drawings outline a modern sports facility, based on similar ones built and provided for community access, and it is expected that the low rate of venue hire provides significant incentive for community groups to take full advantage of this collaboration.

The council’s long-term plan outlined the responsibility of the council to provide recreational spaces for our community to fostering social well-being.

Through this collaborative process the council can maximise return on investment by ensuring spaces such as these are available for a broad spectrum of the community, rather than sitting empty outside school hours.

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