Temporary home for community groups

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 26/10/2012
Volunteering Canterbury
CARYS MONTEATH/Fairfax NZ

NEW BASE: Volunteering Canterbury outreach co-ordinator Glenda Martin and board member Warwick Hill help the organisation move into the new Christchurch Community House in Tuam St.

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Ten community groups will move back into central Christchurch after their building was demolished, but their new premises will also be knocked down to make way for the new justice precinct.

About 52 community groups shared office space and resources at Community House in Hereford St before the building was significantly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

The groups have been working from kitchen tables, car boots and garages since then, but 10 are moving into temporary premises in Tuam St.

Chairman Ken Clearwater said the Community House Trust was committed to the new premises for five years but would now be able to stay for only a year because the land would be used for a justice and emergency precinct under the Christchurch Central Development Unit's blueprint for the central city.

"It's been a bit disappointing that we haven't had better support, especially from the Government," he said.

"That would be nice if they found a plot of land for us. We've spent a lot of money - money we didn't really have to spare - for moving into Tuam St."

Manager Mike Asmussen said the Community House concept saved the agencies involved about $3.4 million a year, so it was important to find a permanent home to bring them all back together.

"A funder is currently negotiating on a building, but it's got some huge issues with it. That's where we're pegging our hopes."

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- The Press

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