Mayor Barry made the announcement at a Naenae Proud community event in Hillary Court today, where he also talked about the recently released Voice of the Community Report on Naenae Pool and town centre.
“Naenae’s town centre used to be busy and vibrant, but it’s been slowly declining over time, and the closure of the pool has been the latest blow. We are acting with urgency on the pool, but it will take some time to re-open it, and in the meantime we want to work with the community to bring the town centre back to life and help local businesses,” he said.
“People in Naenae have lots of great ideas about how to make that happen, and we want to empower them. We’ve been working with community groups to develop four new and existing events themed around the seasons and doing things together. Council is now committing funding to ensure these can be brought to life. We know people want Hillary Court to be the heart of Naenae again, and events like these will help that happen.”
The first event will be Christmas in the Court scheduled for December 14 which is being organised by Oasis Church Naenae. Team Naenae Trust and the Naenae Residents’ Association are also developing ideas for events, yet to be confirmed. Council is contributing $5000 to the establishment of each event as annual fixtures.
Additionally, Council is launching a fund to support other people and groups with ideas for events in the town centre while the pool is closed. The Hillary Court Activity Fund will open for applications on 1 December, and will provide seed funding of $1000 per event.
Eastern Ward Councillor Andy Mitchell says he’s sure there will be no shortage of good ideas.
“We have some very creative and community-minded people in Naenae, and it’s great that Council can give them a helping hand to put on events that bring people together and make our community even stronger.”
Mayor Barry reiterated Council’s commitment to replacing Naenae Pool and urged people to have their say in the current community engagement on options for the pool.
“Returning the pool is a priority for this new Council. We have a big decision to make on how we go about that and we want to make sure we can take into account what the community wants and needs.”