Campaign reaches its target
Te Puke — you did it!
Te Puke Centre Working Group’s crowdfunding campaign to buy the town’s postal services surpassed its target of $50,000 in pledges late last week — five days ahead of the extended deadline.
The working group plans to run the postal services as a social enterprise returning the profits to a charitable trust which would run an information and visitors centre.
The campaign’s initial deadline was extended to December 5 and that proved pivotal, says group chairwoman Karen Summerhays.
“The extension of time gave everybody who thought it was a good idea the time to say yes,” she says.
At the time of going to press over $61,000 had been pledged meaning the final amount will be substantially more than the target set which was the minimum amount considered necessary to move forward.
“We are blown away that we got there,” she says, “it’s fantastic.
“And the other thing that it does is, we now feel as though we have got the endorsement of most of the community to actually undertake what we are planning.
“Before, we didn’t really know whether it was something the community saw value in, but now we really feel like we’ve got the licence to operate and it’s up to us to make it the place we want it to be.”
The next step is to call in the pledges. Those made electronically will be called in through Pledgeme, while those who made paper pledges will be contacted by the group members.
“We can now confidently go back and enter into negotiations with New Zealand Post and talk to the landlord and the landlord’s architect about making the place fit for purpose.”
In the New Year, the group will start applying for funding for starting the community and information centre and to fit out the building.
Group member Dale Snell’s daughter Hollie was critically injured during the process, affecting the whole group.
“I just want to acknowledge the team, especially in some trying circumstances — they all supported each other so well and carried on working. It’s a really good team and a hugely privileged experience so far.”
Karen says as the campaign progressed, the momentum built as people understood what the group was trying to achieve.
“Everybody has done their little bit and we have had a lot of support from outside the team as well and I want to acknowledge that — the town seems to have ‘got it’.”
Last week the Government announced it was exploring the option of creating “regional hubs” for banking and postal services in provincial areas where those services will soon disappear.
Karen says the group would also like the opportunity to discuss ways of contributing to such regional hubs.
“We are blown away that we got there,” says Te Puke Centre Working Group chairwoman Karen Summerhays.