Buller District Council

New community hub for Reefton gains momentum

22nd February, 2022

Preparations to merge the Reefton Visitor Centre (RVS) and Buller District Council’s  service centre in to create a new one-stop-shop community facility gains momentum.

The service centre will move into the visitor centre facility by the end of June 2022.

All council services currently provided at the RSC will be offered at the new community hub. This includes NZ Post and Waka Kotahi/NZTA services. Visitors will continue to be able to access visitor information, make bookings, and obtain advice for their stay in Reefton.

The RVC’ s theatre and the exhibition area will remain part of the new community hub, but with a slightly changed layout.

The library will also be integrated into the visitor centre building and become part of the community hub.

Buller District Council’s Acting Group Manager Krissy Trigg says: “Currently Reefton has two main information and services facilities – the Reefton Service Centre run by council and the Reefton Visitors Centre operated by Reefton Visitors Centre Inc.  Merging the two into one central community hub will reduce costs offering the services and ensure the Reefton community maintains access to these in the future.”

Currently council is supporting Reefton Visitors Centre Society through an annual grant of $32,500 to run the visitor centre.

Creating a council run one-stop-shop for the community in Reefton has been on the cards since the 2021 – 2031 Long Term Plan was adopted in June 2021.

Council has closely collaborated with Reefton Visitors Centre Society on the merger and co-locating the services.

Graeme Neylon chairperson of Reefton Visitors Centre Society says: “We totally support council’s plans to merge the two. Without council’s financial support we could not keep the Reefton Visitor Centre open and a merger will save a lot of overheads. It also gives current RVC ’s staff access to council’s in-house IT and HR support, which we currently pay external contractors for.

Overall, it will be a positive move for Reefton, one that saves ratepayer’s money and creates a community hub that can serve residents and visitors alike.”

The merger is not anticipated to create any additional costs. Moving the service centre to its new home is planned to take a couple of days and will be undertaken with minimal interruptions to businesses as usual.

Ms Trigg says: “Council has not yet decided if the building will be sold or leased, this is a further discussion that will happen, and we will keep the community informed.”

The BNZ’s ATM will remain at its current location in the RSC. Council is currently in negotiations with NZ Post about where the PO Boxes will be located once the merger occurs.

All staff at the new community hub will be employed by council and they have been consulted with through the process and will continue to be as the project progresses.

The final name for Reefton’s new one-stop-shop community facility has not yet been decided on.

The amalgamation of the two services was consulted on as part of council’s Draft 2021 – 2031 Long Term Plan last year.

-ENDS-

For more information contact:
Acting Group Manager Community Services
Krissy Trigg
Krissy.Trigg@bdc.govt.nz

Photo: The current Reefton visitor centre will be the new home for Reefton’s new one-stop-shop community facility.

 

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