A significant celebration ceremony heralding the start of the build for the Pan Pacific Community hub in Hamilton took place on 5 December, at the Hamilton Bowling Club at Hinemoa Park.
The symbolic handing over of a mauri stone from mana whenua, to the Pacific community marked the start of the building of the Pan Pacific Community Hub. The hub will include an integrated health centre, a stand-alone early learning facility and an open fale-style community space.
Chief Executive of K’aute Pasifika Leaupepe Rachel Karalus said the event was overwhelming memorable.
“It was not a ground breaking ceremony, but rather a celebration ceremony, of where we have come from and what is to come. It was a wonderful bringing together of mana whenua and Pacific communities."
"Several hundred of our community attended including mana whenua, Pacific community leaders, Church Ministers, MPs including Carmel Sepuloni, Aupito William Sio, MP Mayor of Hamilton Paula Southgate, Jamie Strange MP, Dr Gaurav Sharma MP for Hamilton West Hamilton City Councillor
Martin Gallagher and representatives from the Provincial Development Unit,” said Rachel.
The Pan Pacific Community Hub is being built with the help of an $8 million dollar investment managed by the government's Provincial Development Unit, and nearly $4 million, raised by community and philanthropic groups.
Leaupepe Rachel Karalus says the Hub has been 21 years in the making.
“It’s very, very humbling and we extremely grateful for the support from our community, local and central government, our strategic partners, funders, private sector organisations and not-for profits. All who have walked alongside us in this journey.”
A formal blessing and ground-breaking ceremony will take place next year.