Wellington City Mission

PHOTO: A concept drawing of the cafe which will form part of Wellington City’s Mission’s new community hub, Whakamaru. Photo: Supplied

The community hub, Whakamaru, meaning ‘to shelter, to safeguard, to protect’, will be on Oxford Terrace in Mt Cook and operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

City Missioner Murray Edridge said after years of planning he was ecstatic to finally be at the building stage.

“This is an amazing day for us. We’ve had nearly three years of planning for this building and to see it get to this stage, which is the start of the physical stuff where the building will start to come down and then the new building will emerge, is just awesome.”

The project would include 35 supportive housing units that residents could live in for up to a year, while accessing the other services and support available from the Mission.

These include public bathrooms and showers with 24-hour access, a commercially equipped laundry, a commercial kitchen and a training kitchen.

Alongside this would be a community cafe accessible to the public, as well as conference facilities, a sacred space for prayer, and a music and performance space.

The hub would also include a social supermarket, where those who relied on food parcels could choose their own food from supermarket shelves, without having to pay.