Toy li­brary is seek­ing new head­quar­ters

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By AIMEE WIL­SON

Hun­dreds of toys need a new home af­ter the Wanaka Com­mu­nity Toy Li­brary started out­grow­ing its space.

A change of own­er­ship of the Reece Cres build­ing also meant it was prob­a­bly too ex­pen­sive to stay, but the big is­sue was where to move to.

Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Don­nelle Dun­lop said the old land­lord Kenneth Chartres, who re­cently died, had been very gen­er­ous and waived all the rates and in­sur­ance costs.

Rent on the build­ing was $4500 a year but it was at least an­other $1000 for the additional ex­penses as­so­ci­ated with leas­ing the build­ing.

‘‘It was his good­will project,’’ com­mit­tee mem­ber Jo Good­win said.

The build­ing was then sold to Mike Horder of Wanaka, who in­formed the com­mit­tee it would be up for a rent re­view in June 2015 – and likely in­creased to a more commercial rate.

Dun­lop said while that was quite un­der­stand­able, it was not some­thing the toy li­brary could af­ford – and the lease on the build­ing didn’t ex­pire un­til the end of 2016.

‘‘It’s get­ting harder and harder for groups like us to get fund­ing for op­er­a­tional costs,’’ she said.

How­ever, af­ter the Mir­ror con­tacted Horder he rang the com­mit­tee this week and of­fered them a rent hol­i­day from July un­til June next year.

‘‘He is re­ally try­ing to help us. It’s cheap rent but not an ideal build­ing for us any­way, and on a busy road,’’ she said.

Horder said the build­ing was tired and needed up­grad­ing, and the money spent do­ing that had to be fac­tored into the rent re­view.

It was also quite clear the toy li­brary had out­grown the space, and there were stor­age is­sues, he said.

‘‘These cir­cum­stances have acted as a cat­a­lyst to look for a bet­ter more suit­able lo­ca­tion.’’

Dun­lop said now the rent had been waived, it was likely they may find a more suit­able space sooner than later.

Start­ing in a garage 21 years ago, the toy li­brary could be back to where it all be­gan, and the com­mit­tee would be ex­tremely grate­ful for the use of a shed or sim­i­lar.

‘‘We need an area of 90sq m. It needs to be our own space. We don’t want to be hav­ing to pack toys away,’’ Dun­lop said.

The Wanaka Toy Li­brary has be­tween 80 and 100 mem­bers.

Photo: AIMEE WIL­SON

Home wanted: Wanaka Com­mu­nity Toy Li­brary mem­bers (from left), Suzy and Eve Pfahlert, 3, Larisa Clarke and Eliana Leary, 2, Quinn Brether­ton, 2, Don­nelle and Nixon Dun­lop, 4, Jo and Fern Good­win, 2.

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