In 1987 Te Whare Putea (The House of Gifts or Treasures) was set up to respond to the social, welfare and adult education needs of the Kaikoura community, Maori and Pakeha.
It was generally felt that because of Kaikoura's high unemployment and its isolation, it was difficult to rely on services based in different centres and would be much easier to co-ordinate if based in a central location in Kaikoura itself.
Funding was provided by the Community Organisation Grants Scheme for a salaried worker to establish the resource centre on a day to day basis. After a great deal of hard work, Te Whare Putea was incorporated in October 1988 and became operational.
It involved a lot of give and take and in-depth involvement over several years to keep it up and running, sourcing funding from different agencies and trusts to be able to employ workers and meet ongoing administrative costs.
The kaupapa of Te Whare Putea states that it is to provide appropriate education, employment and social assistance to Kaikoura's people. Offering rooms for groups, meetings and interviews, the centre bustled with activity, people coming and going, a wide variety of information available, a warm welcome and a sympathetic ear.
Te Whare Putea operated from an Historical Places Trust Category 2 building at 12 Torquay Street, Kaikoura until 2005 when it formed a partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and moved into the Heartlands Building at 3/78 Beach Road, Kaikoura.
In 2012 Te Whare Putea changed status from an Incorporated Society to a Charitable Trust.
The organisation has achieved many things since its beginning. Some examples have included:
Established a Homebuilders Service that later became part of the services offered by Takahanga Marae
Researched and developed Kaikoura Wastebusters Trust, a Trust that became incorporated under the Charitable Trust Act, with its own Trust Board, employing three full-time workers. Wastebusters Trust then went on to become Innovative Waste, employing many people at the Recycling Centre on Scarborough Street.
Found funding to employ the first Kaikoura Community Youth Worker, a position that is still continuing
Employing a Community Development Officer – the only such position in Kaikoura for many years
Lobbying successfully to have better services provided by Government Departments eg. Work and Income
Working with over 6500 clients in the year 1988.
Developed the Kaikoura Community Workers Network Forum.
A CONNECTED, POSITIVE, CONTRIBUTING COMMUNITY
Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa
“Let us keep close together – not wide apart”
TO SUPPORT AND ENABLE EVERYONE TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES AND DEVELOP THEIR POTENTIAL
Ka Whangaia ka tupu, ka puawai
“That which is nurtured blossoms and grows”