- High youth suicide rates
- High domestic violence rates
- High substance abuse rates
- Low academic achievement rates
- High truancy rates
Faced with these circumstances, the town's service providers decided to co-ordinate their efforts and to share space and resources. In addition, they also adoted a multi-faceted model of community health which formed the bais of the facilty designs. This model included all of the facets of ife necessary for a balanced and healthy life experience.
The next part of the feasibility study involved two workshops with the many providers in the town. In these, it was unanimously agreed that a co-location of services would be a very good idea. The workshops investigated what services and resources might be shared and the feasibility of a number of available sites in the town. A Final Report on those workshops can be downloaded by clicking on the image below
To download the PDF click on the image
This PDF lays out a draft critical analysis of the current policies and practices of Community and Economic Development in the small town of Whakatane in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. It is written in five parts - and is intended as a series publication over time in the local newspaper, the Whakatane Beacon. In its draft form it is somewhat academic in style - this is intentionally done as a way of underpinning the theoretical basis of the critique with some background references. The final version will be more "readable". There are five threads to the argument.
- The first is social. We live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, but for many it is an economic hell, with high unemployment, high youth suicides, high family violence and poor academic achievement.
- The second thread is demographic. Birth rates are declining and being outpaced by deaths and migration. We are in a state of chronic population decline
- The migration is to the cities (Auckland chiefly) or Australia where there is plenty of work and much better wages.
- The third thread is global economics. Software and robotic developments are outpacing job creation, leading to a state of global dis-employment and a probably permanent recession
- The fourth is about outdated policies of economic development that are still tied to an outdated and now unrealistic belief industrial growth and job creation.
- The fifth is about education and the development of a creative and entrepreneurial culture - a new model of community and economic development more suited to these emerging conditions.
The Whakatane Community Hub as an Instrument for Community Development
In the feasibility study, the final workshop of service providers and general public reviewed the results of the earlier workshop and the community survey and from that, recommended that the process continue through to Stage 2 - the development of design proposals for a new community facility for Whakatane - a Community Hub. These design proposals would also include: the development of a design brief, a cost-feasibility study, a business plan, a sustainability analysis and a public relations campaign. The intention is to bring together the proposal for a one-stop social service shop with a community facility that addresses the expressed desires of the young and old in our community for a place that can serve their own pressing needs.
The intention of the Whakatane Community Hub is to provide a venue through which the community can address its own difficulties and creatively develop solutions to the problems uncovered in the survel - problems of education, counselling, leisure and recreational acticvities all drawing on the previously untapped resource of skills and knowledge that exist throughout the community for the benefit of the whole commnunity. At the same time we saw that it was imortant to ensure that these opportunities are extended to everyone. The summary PDF that explains all of this (together with some similar examples) can be downloaded by clicking the image below.
To download the Conceptual Hub Report click on the image above
The Whakatane Community Hub Design Process
The next step in the realisation of the Whakatane Community Hub is already uubnder way. The isolation of two or three site alternatives and the design of a facility to test the cost feasibility and the overall sustainability of the proposal begins at the end of July. The Unitec school of Architecture in Auckland has agreed to run the design process as a studio design project, involving 24 architecture students and staff over a three month preiod. These will be jointed by 8 high school students from Whakatane working as interns - helping the architecture students to better understand the needs of the Whakatane community and at the same time acquiring a first-hand experience of tertiary education and some professional design skills. At the end of the process the design team will produce schematic designs, cost estimates and a business plan that tests the economic vialbility of the proposals.
Child Abuse in Whakatane: Child Poverty Action Report
Click on image to download the Report
In July 2013 the New Zealand Child Poverty Action group released their report on Child Abuse in New Zealand. The Report revealed that Whakatane had the second-highest rate of child abuse in the country. It also noted that although there was no0 evidence (contrary to Government assertions and popular myth) that there was no relationshiip between beneficiary numbers and child abuse. It diid, however point to clear relationships between levels of poverty and proportions of youth in the population. This should be of concern to the people of Whakatane since we have high unemployment and poverty rates and one of the highest youth populations (30%) in the country. What was most shockking about the report was its finding that the level of child violence in Whakatane has doubled between 2008-2012. This is a much needed wake-up call that we are failing to address the real needs of our community and that the Whakatane Community Hub must go ahead!
Stage 1 Student Designs for the Countdown Building, Kopeopeo
Unitec students at Toroa Marae, Wairaka
To download the STAGE 1 PDF (Completed 13th August) click here
The latest STAGE 2 of the design proposals (Completed 27th August) can now be downloaded by clicking here
To View the Pattern Language Patterns (briefing information for the design) click here
This is also only the first site that is being explored. There is another site that we will be investigating in the same way. The details of those designs will be posted at the appropriate time