Whangarei’s biggest community-led project is officially ‘full steam ahead’ says interim project director Andrew Garratt.
“We know we’ve been quiet since the referendum success, but we’ve been enormously busy. Now we’re in the next phase – building on our already awesome team of volunteers and raising $12 million to build the art centre.”
One of NZ’s biggest volunteer projects
Immediately after the referendum results were known, representatives from key stakeholders met for a series of planning and strategy sessions.
“The scale and scope of the project is significant, and we knew immediately that we needed a clear structure based on best business practices and a solid business plan” recalls Andrew.
“We have exceptional people already on our team – and many more in our community who want to help – so we made the decision early that this would stay a community project, entirely managed and staffed by volunteers, and that all money raised would be spend on the actual work of getting the art centre built.”
A Project Control Group has been formed, with representatives from Prosper Northland Trust, the Whangarei Art Museum Trust, the Wairau Maori Art Gallery Board and the Hundertwasser Non Profit Foundation.
Some key volunteer roles have already been appointed in fundraising, finance, marketing, operations and construction, but the Group is actively recruiting for more volunteers.
“Whether you have a personal skillset and some spare time, a company with resources willing to share, or just a passion to be involved, we want to hear from you.
“We believe this will be one of the biggest and most successful community-built project ever undertaken in New Zealand, and we’re inviting you to become a part of it” says Andrew.
The Group has launched a Work With Us section on the www.yeswhangarei.co.nz website, where current roles are being posted and regularly updated. There is an easy online mechanism to apply for listed jobs or to simply register your interest.
Local lawyer Ian Reeves, who has been part of Prosper Northland Trust since they picked up the project mid 2014 says his involvement has been ‘inspirational’ and personally very rewarding.
“The wonderful thing… is the passion of everybody involved. They are not elected, or appointed by other organisations. They are not paid. They are there because they want to be. Whenever there is a job to be done, somebody volunteers, and you can rely on it being done. It is very inspirational.”
Visit the Work With Us page to find out more…