New Dannevirke business hub aiming to support local economy

Shaun Lines with Mavis Mullins and Lorraine Stephenson of Rangitāne o Tamaki nui-ā-Rua are keen to support mana whenua in the wider Dannevirke community. Photo / Leanne Warr

Rangitāne is doing its bit to support people in the Dannevirke community with the new Business Hub.

Te Tahua o Rangitāne is yet to hold an official launch but is already working towards its goals of helping those in the community in such areas as housing, employment and business.

Housing is one of the strategies of Te Tahua o Rangitane. Photo / Warren Buckland
Housing is one of the strategies of Te Tahua o Rangitane. Photo / Warren Buckland

General manager Shaun Lines said the housing strategy was to find ways to deal with the issue of not only warmer, drier homes for local whānau, but also to help ease the housing shortage.

Part of that was in helping people buy their own homes or in building social housing, either independently or in partnership with other organisations, which might include Kainga Ora.

While Kainga Ora was also working on a strategy, the Tararua district did not currently have any Kainga Ora-owned homes.

Whether there would be a collaboration with the government-owned housing provider was also something Lines said would be “another conversation”.

If the district were to have social housing, it would not be done in the same way as other areas, such as Otara in Auckland, which grouped social housing together.

Lines said the housing would be scattered, with a small number in one area, and then in another area.

“When you take a sprinkling approach, you create a more inclusive, connected, diverse community. That’s what people want.”

Another part of the strategy was in helping people to buy their own homes by looking at different alternatives such as rent-to-buy, shared equity and progressive home ownership.

That strategy would also include training in financial literacy for those who fit the criteria, which was a government requirement.

Lines had already helped a few people in the district with placing them in employment.

He believed that just placing them in jobs was not enough.

He said people would start a job, go “great guns” for a week or two, and then the wheels would come off, because other things weren’t right in their life.

Other things such as how they would get children to school, or how to cope with working until later in the day and being able to cook dinner.

“You support the employer and the employee. It helps to build support networks around their life, so they don’t have to go to work worried about childcare.

“Support people to succeed and they do.”

The hub will be based in Rangitāne Square, off High St. Photo / Leanne Warr
The hub will be based in Rangitāne Square, off High St. Photo / Leanne Warr

Lines believed the timing was right for the business hub, which would be located in Rangitāne Square on High St.

“It’s where do we start? We’ve got many things we want to achieve.”

Lines said they were going to “go hard” as there were “a lot of clouds in the global horizon that aren’t too rosy”.

He said Rangitāne had an obligation to its own people as mana whenua to support the local economy and the business hub was an outworking of that.

“We want to see better jobs, more skills and a more cohesive regional model. We are partnering with anyone who wants it.”

The services being offered were for anyone who needed it.

“If you have a need in the community and we can meet it, you’re welcome. There’s no wrong door. If we’re not the right person for you, we’ll connect you with the right person.”

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