Welcoming the community back to the heart of Wainuiomata

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Published: 21 June 2023

On a brisk Tuesday morning the long-awaited redevelopment of Wainuiomata’s civic heart was officially handed back to the community with a karakia led by Te Ati Awa.

The project broke ground in April 2022 with streetscape specialists John Fillmore Contracting Limited (JFC) appointed as Lead Contractor. Work charged on despite Covid-19 delays, the wettest winter on record and an unexpected upgrade to the water pipes along Queen Street. The upgrade included the addition of a half basketball court, new seating, decking, and lighting, as well as new paving featuring a design by local artist Tiaki Dahm.

Mayor Campbell Barry says, "This work has been about rebuilding the foundations in Wainuiomata’s Town Centre, and giving it the upgrade and love it deserves."

"What we’ve got now is the community’s vision from workshops and plans in 2015 brought to life, really making Wainuiomata’s Town Centre a safe and attractive place for everyone."

While the ultimate goal was to deliver a high-quality upgrade to the town centre, both JFC and Hutt City Council aimed to have a deeper impact on the wider community throughout the project.

"Where possible we partnered with local and Māori-owned businesses" says Adam Brown, General Manager New Business at JFC. "We have successfully retained long-term partnerships with five local Māori- owned contractors, supporting each in a variety of upskilling and development initiatives."

JFC also employed nine rangatahi for the project, including two Wainuiomata High School students and two local students from Youth Inspire, offering them multiple work experience opportunities. "Three of these students are progressing with further qualifications through JFC and we look forward to supporting their futures in the building industry." says Brown.

While the town centre upgrade is now complete, there are two pieces of public art to look forward to, a mural on the half basketball court and an interactive sculpture that will sit outside the Wainuiomata Neighbourhood Hub.

Wainuiomata Town Centre Karakia