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Kaikoura community receives $70,000 thanks to Serena, Venus and ASB

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Kaikoura District Council has received more than $70,000 to put towards community upgrade projects, thanks to tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, All Black brothers Julian and Ardie Savea, and ASB.

The successful New Year’s Day charity match-up saw the Williams sisters rally on centre court against the Savea brothers, and Caroline Wozniacki. ASB created the friendly match to raise money for Kaikoura, damaged by the November earthquakes, and has donated all proceeds from ticket sales to the South Island coastal town.

Kaikoura District Council has decided to allocate the $70,000 to five different projects with the purpose to connect the community. A new public swimming pool sits at the top of the region’s wish-list. Kaikoura District Mayor Winston Gray says the local council’s greatest goal is to rebuild social connectivity and community engagement within the region.

“The Kaikoura district was seriously affected by the November earthquakes and, as a council, we’re navigating our way through the rebuild as best we can,” Mr Gray says.

“Currently, our region’s greatest need is to engage and empower our community at all levels, and provide events, opportunities, and new local amenities for our people to look forward to.”

A number of the region’s public facilities were destroyed in the earthquakes. The council-appointed Social Recovery Task Group conducted a rigorous consultation project with the community, and, at the top of the list, the public wanted the damaged swimming pool to be replaced with a fit-for-purpose aquatic complex.

Mr Gray says a study is now underway to assess the feasibility of the pool project.

“This is a big project for our small community and the financial support from ASB takes a tremendous amount of pressure off our community,” Mr Gray says.

In addition to the local pool upgrade, four different community projects will receive funding to help the council meet their goal of rebuilding connectivity and engagement within the region: The Community Shed, the Community Hub, a Scout Hall upgrade, and investment in local events such as the Kaikoura Youth Awards event.

Work on the Scout Hall will begin within the month.

“As we continue to rebuild our community, we are grateful to ASB for their generous contribution. We are humbled by the amount of support ASB, and the wider New Zealand community, has given our region,” Mr Gray says.

ASB executive general manager marketing and communications Roger Beaumont says ASB is thankful to Serena and Venus, Julian and Ardie, and Caroline for their enthusiastic involvement in the charity match-up on New Year’s Day.

“ASB is pleased to give back to the Kaikoura community as they navigate their way through the lengthy rebuild process,” Mr Beaumont says.

Five projects identified to facilitate community engagement

Scout Hall – $20,000

  • The Kaikoura Scout hall needs to be ‘winter-ised’; it is well used by youth and is leaking badly. 
  • Twenty thousand dollars will be allocated to the re-roofing the hall so that the Kaikoura Youth Council can remain meeting there throughout winter. The local movie theatre is currently out-of-action so the building will also house community movie nights.

Kaikoura Community Pool - $20,000

  • As a result of the quake, the Kaikoura community pool was damaged  beyond repair. The Social Recovery Task Group carried out a rigorous consultation project with the community, and, at the top of the list, was a new, public, fit-for-purpose swimming pool complex.

Community Hub – $10,000

  • A newly established venture, the Community Hub will create opportunities for Kaikoura locals to upskill in certain areas. The money donated from ASB will enable the Community Hub to facilitate various learning experiences for locals, including art workshops and short courses. 
  • The Community Hub will also help fund the Kaikoura Youth Awards Event, aimed at celebrating Kaikoura youth and the positive impact they’ve had in the community post-earthquake through voluntary acts of service.

Community Shed – $10,000

  • The Community Shed is a large workshop space behind the old museum. Pete Fey and Dave Barrett volunteer their time on Sundays and Wednesdays to assist locals as they build new objects with public tools and a shared space. Ten thousand dollars will be used to enable future individual building projects.

Events – $10,000

  • Ten thousand dollars will be allocated towards working to attract fun, well-managed festivals/events that offer economic and social benefits to the community.

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