Hinemoa House expands
Hinemoa House is expanding, with a new hall opened on Saturday after a slow three-year renovation.
Currently about 130 people use the facilities that the Horowhenua Kids, Teens and Families Trust runs on Hinemoa Street in Levin.
The new hall will allow users to bring in larger groups, at least double the number they have been able to accommodate, said board member Graeme Sinclair.
He said the trust began in 2006 and focused on at-risk youth and families in the Taitoko area.
“Gradually we added activities and resources as needed and resources became available.”
The hall was officially opened by Helen Blake, while the traditional cake cutting was done by Helen Stevenson, who started Hinemoa House, and Mayor Michael Feyen.
The new hall was a renovation project for the trust but the slow process has meant the project is completely debt free. The building was brought to Levin from Hawke’s Bay in late 2015 in three pieces. The section next door to the original Hinemoa House was bought in 2013.
“The project was completed as money became available,” said Graeme.
“Until recently we had room for 12 to 15 people at any one time, now we can have at least 40,” said Sinclair. The hall is also accessible to the wider community. It can be hired for events, such as 21st birthday parties. A Samoan Church has started church services on Sunday mornings in the hall. Future possibilities would be ballet or indoor bowls.
“The new building allows for further expansion and new programmes. People are welcome with their ideas on how we can use the building,” said Sinclair. A Hinemoa Street resident has already offered to share her artistic skills, for example.
The hall has a solid fence around it, which was donated to the trust, required by the council to ensure small children do not run out into the adjacent carpark or on to the road.
Hinemoa House offers fitness and boxing classes five days a week for children and adults.
“There is children’s programme on Tuesday and Friday nights, a methamphetamine support group, a grandmothers’ coffee morning and we have started a horticulture course,” said Sinclair. Other facilities include a community washing machine and three lawnmowers that can be hired for a gold coin donation. The trust has also run fitness programmes in schools.
More recently a youth development course to teach young people life skills that will last them a lifetime was set up. “So far we have introduced them to painting and various tools.”
“Helen Stevenson saw a need for support for people in the area and she quickly got others on board to start Hinemoa House. We hope Hinemoa House is a place where locals feel comfortable to come,” said Sinclair.
The new hall’s entrance.
Helen Stevenson and Mayor Michael Feyen cut the cake, which was a replica of the new hall.
Horowhenua Kids, Teens and Families Trust chairperson Diana Posthuma welcomes visitors to the new hall.