"If you build it, they will come." Well, they did, and they are coming - in droves.
Not even a year into its life, the Carterton Events Centre has well and truly vindicated those who were convinced of the need for its existence. With its multiple facilities heavily booked and a range of community groups far beyond what was envisaged using the $6 million facility, it really has become a hub of the community and the venue of choice in Wairarapa for many events.
In the long gestation period leading up to the opening of the building on October 29 last year, naysayers were lining up to point out that Carterton didn't need and couldn't afford such a facility, but the number of user groups now taking advantage of its many areas paints a different picture.
Carterton District Council community development manager Lorraine Gittings is based in the heart of building and she says they are continually surprised by what organisations are asking to hire out various facilities.
"It is a vindication that the people that supported it were right. The use of it has proved that it was needed."
Sometimes they are so chock-a- block that they need to use the dressing rooms as small meeting rooms.
"People are being quite creative about how they use the auditorium," says Ms Gittings.
Bookings have been extremely diverse, reflecting the nature of the life in Carterton.
"One night we've got a seminar on cow lameness, the next night we got a performance by violinist Fiona Pears. It's so random and so Carterton," she says.
They are also getting bookings for meetings and events that would normally have been held in Masterton.
"The bookings are way above what anyone would've expected. Also the number of groups is more than we expected for the first year of operations," says Ms Gittings.
Regular users include: Yoga classes, youth table tennis, Kea Club Scouts, break dancing workshops, St John Youth Programme, Arrow FM access radio broadcasting, storytelling and Toastmasters.
Kuranui College is choosing to stage their prom there this year and the events centre is taking bookings for musical concerts and other events.
- Wairarapa News