Restart for heart of Kakahi

Ruapehu Press - - Front Page - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Rem­nants of the moth­balled Kakahi School have been saved from de­mo­li­tion and will be used as a play­ground in the cen­tre of the vil­lage.

The Kakahi Com­mu­nity Group wants to breath some new life into the town cen­tre now that the school - the for­mer recre­ational hub of the town - has closed.

Mem­bers of the Kakahi Com­mu­nity Group sal­vaged the equip­ment, in­clud­ing a se­cu­rity fence from around the school pool. The fence will be used at the re­serve to stop chil­dren from go­ing out on the road.

Vil­lage Group mem­ber, Manu Lala told the Ohura Tau­marunui Ward Com­mit­tee that the com­mu­nity would help with man­ual labour and ma­chin­ery.

‘‘We want to put a flag pole up there and a pic­nic ta­ble and maybe toi­lets in the fu­ture which the com­mu­nity needs be­cause a lot of vis­i­tors come through, a lot of fish­er­men and camper­vans.’’

‘‘Be­cause it’s in view of ev­ery­body I think it will be bang on once its all cleaned up. It will be re­ally nice.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing how many come through.’’

The Ohura Tau­marunui Ward Com­mit­tee has made a rec­om­men­da­tion to the Ruapehu Dis­trict Coun­cil to ap­prove the in­stal­la­tion of a com­mu­nity play­ground in Te Rena St road re­serve.

It is es­ti­mated to cost $13,840 to in­stall the play­ground, with on­go­ing main­te­nance at $480 a year.

Tau­marunui Ward Coun­cil­lor, Karen Ngatai was keen to see funds made avail­able straight away so the project could start in Sum­mer.

Group Man­ager Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, Mar­garet Hawthorne said there was dis­cre­tionary money that could be used.

‘‘If we use money from that bud­get, what might hap­pen [in] Fe­bru­ary next year [is] a com­mu­nity mem­ber might come and say we des­per­ately need to do this and you’re go­ing to have to say ‘sorry, it’s go­ing to have to wait un­til af­ter July’.’’

Coun­cil­lor Ngatai also sug­gested that Lala put in a sub­mis­sion for toi­lets that will be in­cluded for con­sid­er­a­tion dur­ing the Long Term Plan dis­cus­sions.

The com­mit­tee con­sid­ered that the so­cial im­pact of the Kakahi project scored highly in the coun­cil’s So­cial Pol­icy.

The Kakahi Pri­mary School closed last year.

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