The newly renovated and renamed Mangaia Lodge Community Centre. SUPPLIED/21072001.
The refurbished Mangaia Lodge Community Centre is now home to the Mangaia Red Cross, the Mangaia Elderbility Home Care Services and Te Kainga Pa Metua on the island.
Located in Aremauku upstairs in Oneroa, the facility will be
used by the three agencies to coordinate their community activities, training,
services and various programmes.
Mangaia Island Government executive officer (EO) Anthony
Whyte said: “We are happy the three organisations can cohabitate, share the
resources and community spirit, and we have confidence that they can all work
The building was originally constructed in 1947 to
accommodate the island’s school headteacher, and is one of the three former
colonial residences on Mangaia.
Owned by the Cook Islands Government under the custodianship
of the Mangaia Island Government, the building had been neglected for a number
of years after it was used as a private accommodation.
The repurpose of the centre was an initiative of the former
mayor Teremoana Atariki and the Island Council - whom back in 2018 agreed to
renovate the property specifically for community purposes.
The vision was to have a multi-purpose building, and to also
keep its authenticity and preserve its history, said Whyte.
The current mayor of Mangaia Makitua Tutai and the Island
Council are pleased to see the vision accomplished and look forward to the centre
being used again.
Some funding for the renovations was received from the Cook
Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC), the Mangaia Island Council had
contributed to the project through its work operations over the past 2-3 years.
Metua Vaiimene, the president of the Mangaia Red Cross, is
extremely grateful for the investment from the Island Government and CIIC
towards the shared facility, as well as for the special donor who supplied the
furniture and appliances.
“We look forward to working with our partners and the
community to breathe life back into our community hub and to better deliver our
community initiatives,” said Vaiimene.
Mangaia government workers from Infrastructure, Public
Utilities, Solar Girls and the island’s Tourism and Culture Department also
worked on the project.