Lockdown makeover brings new lease of life to WEC

A post lockdown makeover has brought in a fresh, new look to the Whāingaroa Environment Centre’s office at the Raglan Town Hall.

Centre coordinator Jasmine Hunter says the makeover had been on the agenda for a while with a budget set aside, but the weeks after lockdown provided the team the time to get to work without interrupting their core business.

“We started the makeover in Level 2 when we felt it was safe enough for our team.”

Established in 2000, WEC has been located in the front of the town hall for 20 years. There have been a few different versions of WEC but it was in dire need of an uplift.

The team set to work plastering in the cracks and holes in the plasterwork and a slap of light-coloured paint over once green walls has freshened the interior.

In a move towards being a paperless office, a touchscreen TV has replaced much of the information pamphlets of old.

“It’s great because we are not creating as much waste and visitors can now access a broader range of information on the spot,” Jasmine says.

The Centre Hub is an information provider for many local conservation and sustainable organisations, including the Karioi Project, Xtreme Zero Waste, Plastic Free Raglan and Coastcare. WEC also runs its own projects such as Timebank, the Community Gardens, the Tool Library, Māui Dolphin Day and Conservation, Science Nights and Tamariki Mahi Māra (gardening in schools).

“We see ourselves as the physical place for people to come and learn about the projects and work streams of all the organisations that we align with.”

As well as the makeover, there are new projects on the horizon including a joint initiative with XZW to tackle Raglan’s noxious weeds.

The seed library is about to get a boost of new seeds for busy gardeners wanting to get planting for spring.

Plus, the Tool Library is fully up and running again after a much-needed cash injection.

For a small fee, members get unlimited hire of tools for landscaping, gardening, maintenance, building and DIY.

The Whāingaroa Environment Centre’s Hub at the Raglan Town Hall is open to the public Tuesday to Friday from 12-4pm and on Saturday from 10am-12pm.