Community hub secures strategic site
This statement has been issued by the Queenstown Community Hub Charitable Trust.
"A purpose-built Queenstown regional community facility took a major step towards reality today as Remarkables Park Limited (RPL), a subsidiary of Porter Group Limited, and the Queenstown Community Hub Charitable Trust (QCHCT) committed to combining forces to work on the project.
The organisations agreed to merge their respective community facilities proposals towards creating the Hub by signing a Memorandum of Understanding that firstly, secures the use of land at Remarkables Park and secondly, agrees to a partnership that will deliver the project. RPL is to provide land and development expertise while the Queenstown Community Hub Charitable Trust will provide the funding and operational management.
RPL master planning includes a centrally located community precinct which anticipated the need for a large-scale community facility that could co-locate a wide range of community groups and care organisations. To achieve that objective RPL leveraged their experience of overseas facilities and had undertaken substantive studies including conducting interviews with various Queenstown community organisations to understand their needs. The Remarkables Park Community precinct so far includes Wakatipu High School, a kindergarten and tuition facility, a play centre and public cycle and walking trail. Also, a medical health centre and retirement village are in planning phases and a new Salvation Army facility replacing its former downtown operation will be established in this precinct.
The Trust is a registered independent charitable organisation established specifically to provide community facilities that are modern, attractive and inclusive to permanently and affordably house organisations that serve the community.
Set up in May this year – the brainchild of Councillor John MacDonald, the Trust has already delivered a feasibility study including stakeholder consultation, had initial conversations with funders, listened to community groups and discovered RPL were also working on a similar proposal.
RPL Chairman Alastair Porter said RPL is delighted to now be working jointly with QCHCT.
“Queenstown is growing rapidly and there is an increasing need for more facilities for locals of all ages to be able to access. We collectively envisage an exciting multi-story facility that will widely benefit the community and contribute to the sustainable growth of the Queenstown region,” he said.
Trust chair John MacDonald said that the two greatest challenges in delivering the project were obtaining suitable land and funding the build.
“To have this strategic land, plus the development expertise RPL brings is truly exceptional. Our deep gratitude goes to Alastair Porter and co-directors John and Neville Porter and Remarkables Park Ltd for their vision and community generosity”.
“The Trust can now concentrate on the next challenge; funding the build,” he said.
The newly minted MOU offering the land and project partnership allows the project to move into a building planning and funding stage with confidence and with the support of its patrons, professional people providing services pro-bono and community groups.
“I want to acknowledge the trustees, our patrons Dick and Diana Hubbard, and our professional service providers Mitchell Mackersy Lawyers Queenstown and Moore Markhams,” said MacDonald.
“We need to move fast because the situation in the community is dire. Few organisations have long term secure tenure and as land values rise they find themselves pushed out at a time when their services are most needed. The effort that is going into keeping a roof over their heads should be directed towards supporting the many people facing a variety of stresses that come with living in Queenstown. The Porters and the Trust have an ambitious goal of sod turning by May 2021 and a vision of a space that brings a community together for support as well as for connection and engagement.”
Next steps are detailed design and costings while also securing funding for the project."