Site blessing allows Waiora House rebuild to start
It seemed a good omen when the storm lashing Taupō paused temporarily last Thursday to allow the Waiora House site blessing to go ahead.
Members of the Waiora Community Trust, Waiora House tenants, community representatives, elected members, council staff and the project’s architects and builders gathered on the corner of Kaimanawa Street, Spa Road and Motutaiko Street as Reverend Peace blessed the site of the new building.
Taupō District Council will own the building but it will be managed by Waiora Community Trust; and occupied by not-for-profit organisations in the social sector.
Project manager Pete Bradshaw said the day was a significant milestone in replacing Waiora House, which was demolished in 2019 after asbestos was discovered.
“Waiora House holds a special place in the hearts of many and this will be a modern flexible new main building which will allow organisations to work in a more collaborative connected way for many years to come.”
Mayor David Trewavas said there had been a lot of obstacles to overcome to get to the start of construction but the council had always been determined that Waiora House would be rebuilt.
“We are so proud for this to happen and get underway – it’s a wonderful design and it’s going to be a wonderful landmark on Spa Road.”
Waiora Community Trust chair Eileen Devane said the trust and Waiora House tenants were all thrilled to reach this milestone.
“We’d like to thank the council for getting behind this amazing future-proofed concept. The trust is so excited to see this coming together.” Work is very close to beginning, with builders RBS Group Limited planning to start construction next month.
Pictured below: Reverend Peace performing the blessing at the site of the new Waiora House main building. Looking on from left are Mayor David Trewavas, Taupō District Council deputy chief executive Julie Gardyne, Waiora Community Trust chair Eileen Devane, project manager Pete Bradshaw, Cr John Williamson, Cr Kathy Guy, Paul Raven of Shelter Architects and Waiora Community Trust deputy chair Chris Johnston.