High­bury fos­ters strong spirit

Prop­erty Weekly con­tin­ues its se­ries fea­tur­ing the out­ly­ing towns and the sub­urbs of Palmer­ston North. Sue Emeny vis­ited High­bury and dis­cov­ered a strong com­mu­nity spirit.

Manawatu Standard - Property Weekly - - Front Page -

High­bury, in the north­west of Palmer­ston North, is a com­mu­nity trans­formed. His­tor­i­cally it’s a work­ing-class sub­urb that has shed its less-thandesir­able rep­u­ta­tion of the past. Its streets are safer and the ap­pear­ance of the sub­urb has vastly im­proved.

It’s a sub­urb well served with parks and re­serves, while three schools, Som­er­set Cres­cent, Takaro and Mon­rad In­ter­me­di­ate, ser­vice the area. High­bury shop­ping cen­tre is able to ful­fil most needs and there is a reg­u­lar bus ser­vice.

At the heart of the com­mu­nity is the High­bury Whanau Cen­tre, which was es­tab­lished in re­sponse to prob­lems with the be­hav­iour of lo­cal youth, par­tic­u­larly around the shop­ping area.

Ac­cord­ing to whanau cen­tre man­ager, An­jali But­ler, High­bury is an unique sub­urb with a huge sense of com­mu­nity.

In June 2005 the cen­tre moved into its cur­rent premises, a pur­pose-built fa­cil­ity, as it had out­grown its orig­i­nal home.

‘‘In the years the cen­tre has been go­ing there has been a ma­jor shift in fo­cus from be­ing re­ac­tive to proac­tive.’’

Anj says while or­gan­is­ing leisure ac­tiv­i­ties, such as the Ju­nior Youth Touch mod­ule, which at­tracts 1000 chil­dren on to Mon­rad Park each week, ed­u­ca­tion and de­liv­er­ing so­cial ser­vice pro­grammes are equally im­por­tant in the cen­tre’s role.

‘‘One of the cen­tre’s roles is as an al­ter­na­tive ed­u­ca­tion provider, it’s one of only two fa­cil­i­ties in Palmer­ston North.’’ The other is at Kelvin Grove and Anj co­or­di­nates that pro­gramme as well.

As well, it also de­liv­ers youth work ser­vices, hol­i­day pro­grammes, af­ter-school pro­grammes, Youth Jus­tice pro­grammes, Brazil­ian ju-jitsu and rugby league.

‘‘The com­mu­nity does look out for it­self, it ral­lies around when needed.’’

The cen­tre also works with Massey Univer­sity in grant­ing three schol­ar­ships an­nu­ally to young Maori liv­ing in High­bury, and whose grad­u­ates in­clude teach­ers, mid­wives and the Manawatu Stan­dard’s chief of staff.

Cen­tre youth worker Papa Leota was brought up in High­bury and has seen changes in the com­mu­nity through the years. He sees the cen­tre as an amal­ga­ma­tion of ser­vices that meets the needs of the com­mu­nity.

Pleas­ant place:

High­bury Av­enue, the heart of the sub­urb is an at­trac­tive street with well-tended gar­dens and plenty of trees.

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