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11 November 2022

Creative Centre gets $173k grant for new craft building

Friday 1 March 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Creative Centre gets $173k grant for new craft building
Creative Centre members, staff and board members with Tetsumi Takahashi, First Secretary of Embassy of Japan, New Zealand, and Bob Williams, Secretary of Te Marae Ora, celebrate the signing of the grant at the Creative Centre on Wednesday. MELINA ETCHES/24022816

The Creative Centre, which serves adults and teenagers with disabilities, will soon have a new craft building. This new facility will provide more opportunities for individuals to earn income and contribute to their households.

On Wednesday, Tetsumi Takahashi, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in New Zealand, and Teresa Manarangi-Trott, chairperson of the Creative Centre, signed a grant agreement for $173,000 to support the project.

The project, titled “Project for the Extension of Facilities at the Creative Centre under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP)”, has been awarded to local company Landholdings Ltd. Construction is expected to begin in a few weeks.

Takahashi, representing the government and people of Japan, expressed his pleasure at attending the signing ceremony.

He congratulated the Creative Centre board members, staff, and other members on this occasion.

Takahashi stated his hope that the expansion will enable individuals with disabilities to participate in vocational training in a safe and appropriate environment, separate from the respite care space.

This project represents the second grassroots project funded by Japan for the Creative Centre. The first project was the construction of a $90,270 respite unit in 2016.

“I hope that this project is to become another great symbol of Japan and Cook Islands continued friendship,” said Takahashi.

Manarangi-Trott acknowledged the contributions of “special people”, including staff, board members, and government agencies, who have made the Centre a vital place for individuals with disabilities.

“It’s a special day celebrating all of the people who help us do these things, Japan has helped us build the respite rooms and now a new area for the craft centre.”

She also mentioned Andrew and Mama, two clients who now reside in the respite unit. The new building will provide additional space for them.

Danny Tixier, the Creative Centre’s manager, expressed his appreciation for the ongoing support received to improve and enhance their programmes.

“Moving into these modern times, Health, Education and Internal Affairs and between us all, we are taking care of our vulnerable, disabled and elderly,” said Tixier.

“Like the old traditional way we always take care of our own, we take on our responsibility.”

Secretary of Te Marae Ora, Bob Williams, commended the Centre for its vital service to the community.

He acknowledged the positive transformation of the Centre over the years and reaffirmed the ministry’s continued support.

“This is a great initiative, looking at ways the Centre can become more self-dependant,” said Williams.

Representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and John Webb, Honorary Consul-General of Japan, attended the event.