Creating Community spaces

‘Christmas in the Car Park’ event is taking place on Saturday December 15th with food stalls and a concert. This is in conjunction with with the Santa Parade and 3×3 basketball tournament. So now seemed a good time to look back at progress that has been made in turning the old Pak’nSave car park into a much more inviting community space for us all to use.

Community Clean Up

On Saturday 15 September, Kaitāia TimeBank along with Shine On Kaitāia held ‘Our Community Clean Up’, an event to give the town a tidy up and spruce up the old Pak’nSave car park in the centre of Kaitāia. Shine On Kaitāia has been given ownership of the old Pak’nSave building, and are wanting to turn it into a Youth Hub with the car park being able to become a central village green area, used for future events including the hub of the upcoming Kaitāia Christmas Parade.

The timing of this event fell perfectly, being on the last day of Clean Up NZ week, and the day of a global event Clean Up our World – which was aiming to have the most people cleaning their communities worldwide.

Approximately 50 enthusiastic volunteers arrived and were sent off to various areas armed with a map, gloves and bags provided by Clean Up NZ and rubbish pickers provided by CBEC. Volunteers were advised to avoid slippery areas, dogs, be careful with broken glass and around waterways – and thankfully there were no casualties at all on the day.

Many chose to clean their own streets, and some stayed and cleaned the service lanes and alleyways around the town. A student Social Committee from Kaitāia College was sent to clean the main street, where they collected mostly cigarette butts, and Jaycee Park and around the skating bowl.  Another group from Kaitāia College and Pukemiro College cleaned around the college, and along North Road, the main road heading into Kaitaia.

Kaitāia Hire kindly let us hire a water blaster for half price, that was petrol generated and had its own tank, and could be filled at the car park and sent off to different areas to clean. This was used to clean the mosaic art at the outside of the car park, the seating area, the garden walls, parts of the Pak’nSave building, and the water feature outside Te Ahu. This water blasting made a considerable difference to the freshness of these areas.

TimeBank members worked hard, alongside others from the community, and approximately 20 bags of rubbish were taken to the Transfer Station, along with 15 bags of recycling. Half a trailer full of rubbish was taken from the Okahu Road Lookout point above Kaitāia township too. All hands made a big difference and there was a great community spirit palpable during the day.

The water feature at Te Ahu had been turned off for the day, and the Kaitāia College students enjoyed emptying the three pools out with buckets, ready to be water blasted and painted.

Shine On Kaitāia volunteers painted a wall on one side of the car park, covering over a sign that hadn’t been relevant for around 15 years. This improved the attractiveness of this space instantly, removing all the tagging, and tagging cover-ups, and provided a white space ready for decorating anew.

A team from the Department of Corrections was invaluable, removing a huge amount of rubbish from the car park and surrounding the Pak’nSave building, tackling the garden at the front of the car park by removing trees and weeds and weed eating grassy areas and fence lines around adjacent buildings.

Jo Shanks from CBEC Ecosolutions conducted an audit of the recycling, separating the glass, plastics and aluminium and noting which types and brands were most evident. Her intention was to then contact the local stores to let them know details of where their rubbish was found.

Overall this was a very successful day, with a big difference made to the central business district and surrounding streets.  It is intended to make it a regular event, as it was great to get the community involved in making a difference to their town.

Mural

Of course since the Community Clean up the amazing mural has been completed on the end of the shops to the north of the car park.

From a strong field of entries nationwide, Kaitāia’s He Whānau Marama Charitable Trust took out the top spot for the opportunity to bring a new mural design to life this year thanks to the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Wall Worthy competition, sponsored by Resene.

The Shine on Kaitāia Project, a Youth driven initiative managed by the Trust, ran a competition to find youth interested in visual arts to join a team of local artists.

Although the weather wasn’t that favourable, competition winners Te Awatea Pawa, Miriama Soutar and Rehutai Bassett got set to begin the paint during the Sept/Oct school holidays.

Thanks to Kaitāia TimeBank inviting Shine on Kaitāia to help organise and volunteer at the community clean up earlier this month, we had many people from various sectors of our community, do their part from weeding, making gardens, water-blasting, pruning, painting and picking up trailer loads of rubbish. The mini-makeover for the outside of the Old Pak’nSave has improved the look and the general feeling of the area. We hope this encourages others to improve the look of their own buildings and we are keen to help with that!!

The blank canvas that is now across the front of the Old Pak’nSave building is now another opportunity for Youth to breathe life on to it – with colour and positive imagery. There is no competition to enter to be involved in this part of the Mural Project and we will be sending out information as soon as the lead artists provide a timeframe and plan as to how that will roll out. Please stay updated by following our page and sharing with anyone you know who loves art.

A HUGE THANKS to everyone who has donated paint and resources. All the kind words from some of our local business owners helping us source things we need and local organisations, churches, schools who all give in some way – the community thanks you. At the end of the day – this is for ALL OF US so we appreciate you sooo much!!!

Community Clean Up report by Steph Lee of Kaitāia TimeBank, video and photos courtesy of SHINE on Kaitāia

Mural report and photos courtesy of SHINE on Kaitāia

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