Like all good Rotary projects…its starts with a need. The Awapuni Rotary Club celebrated its 50th anniversary supporting, among other things the local community of the suburb of Awapuni. The club was looking for a project and through our club hosting “Awesome Awapuni Day”, a free community-building event that brings neighbours together for food and entertainment, we were approached by residents to upgrade an old park – Raleigh Street Reserve.
Raleigh Park
The park is surrounded by state houses, some were demolished, and this has left the area desolate.
Club President Kevin Gilbert and project champion David Chapple formed a working relationship with the Awesome Awapuni community group and the city council. For the project to succeed we needed the full support of the locals, so we undertook a series of incremental projects:
  • Community engagement night to ask them what they wanted
  • Community engagement meeting to discuss plan A
  • Community engagement and costings now at $280,000 but included a full-size basket ball court, lighting, electric BBQ, food forest & slope skating area
  • Support was gained through a movie night and a road mural painting day on Raleigh Street
  •  It needs to be noted that right through the project, at every working bee and every Massey Rotaractors were there to help.
Plans are underway to formally open the upgraded park on 3rd November 2018 our next Awesome Awapuni Whanau DayFunding support predominantly came from charitable trusts, who look for evidence of community involvement and an ongoing network.
The park will be gifted to the City Council who will maintain the site.
What next? There are talks about a relocating a community vegetable garden to the park, this is currently supplying food to 90 families.