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Wednesday October 10, 2018

Retirement village site work going well

Work on the Masonic Village Trust retirement village and rest home facility, set to fill a vacant reserve behind Hugh Sinclair Park, is progressing well. PHOTO: DAN WHITFIELD By Dan Whitfield

Remedial work on the land set to house Wainuiomata’s retirement village and rest home facility is progressing well, with the aim of having the first villas ready to occupy by spring 2019 still the case. The Masonic Village Trust announced in January the development of the $50 million facility planned to fill a vacant reserve behind Hugh Sinclair Park, backing on to Hinau Grove. Site preparation started earlier this year and to meet the first deadline, the groundworks need to get underway during the summer months when the soil is relatively dry. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says Wainuiomata is a close-knit commu-

nity but many elderly residents have to relocate to other parts of the Hutt Valley to enjoy their retirement. “These are often people who have lived their whole lives in Wainuiomata and have contributed to building the strong community that it is today,” Ray says. “A local retirement village will give the community the option to be able to enjoy their retirement in familiar surroundings, close to their whanau and established network of friends,” he says. The village is set to eventually house around 200 people in retirement villas, rest home and hospital beds, care suites and serviced apartments. There will be 80 single-story villas available in single, two-and three-bed-

roomed options, and the rest home and hospital will provide beds for up to 60 residents. Once complete it will also become one of the largest local employers. “The development will create local jobs and bring economic benefits to the suburb. It will be a wonderful asset to Wainuiomata and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished development,” Ray says. Trust chief executive Warick Dunn says the establishment of such a village has long been sought by the residents of Wainuiomata. Thanks to significant support by the Hutt City Council, including a quick turnaround with the resource consent, the community’s vision is being turned into reality very quickly.

Report shows investment in Taita is paying off Many aspects of life in Taita are on the improve, especially for young people, according to analysis carried out to look at the impact of investment in that community by Hutt City Council and others. Meaningful social development has been a priority for council for the past five years, with a focus on young people in the North East. Data company Dot Loves Data has used its Dynamic Deprivation Index to analyse the impact of investment by council and others into the Taita community over the last five years. The analysis, shared with Council’s Community Services Committee, shows areas where there is a correlation between investment and some improved community outcomes. The analysis shows that educational outcomes are up, fewer young people are getting in trouble at school, and more are getting engaged in extra-curricular activities - all environmental factors that can result in better long-term outcomes. It also shows that crime rates in Taita have fallen between 2014 and 2018 and participation in sport is up. Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says while there remain serious broader challenges associated with high deprivation, it’s pleasing to see signs that things are getting better. “In recent years we’ve built the new Walter Nash Centre and computer clubhouse in Taita which are both well supported and highly valued by the community,” he says. “Council’s strategy is rejuvenation of the city, both economic and social. We want Lower Hutt to be a great place for everyone to live, work and play. For us to succeed, every Lower Hutt resident has to have the chance to reach their own potential.”

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