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Building Connected Communities in Hobsonville

The new developments throughout Hobsonville have a strong advocate for building a sense of community.

The Hobsonville Community Trust was set up in 2012 with a mission to connect local people. 'We are all about creating a feeling of belonging and empowering people to contribute to their neighbourhood,' says Hobsonville Community Trust's Gavin Gunston.

And the Trust has a packed programme of initiatives designed to bring people together. From street gatherings and barn dances to movie nights and art exhibitions, there's a wealth of events to choose from.

There's also a dedicated English group for migrants where locals can practise their English skills and meet new friends. The group is a lifeline for many new residents who don't have English as their first language. It has helped them develop conversation skills and the confidence to participate in daily community life. During the past term, members were invited to share their cultures with the rest of the group to help celebrate their diversity. Indian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Brazilian members prepared mouth-watering traditional dishes and shared stories of their way of life.

The experience of the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods highlighted another priority for the Trusts to get its teeth into. Gavin reports that the Hobsonville Emergency Resilience Network will help prepare residents for future emergencies. And the Hobsonville Emergency Response Group has been created to provide an emergency shelter and coordinated community response to future adverse events.

The Trust also manages two community facilities on behalf of the Auckland Council. The 1930s art deco RNZAF Headquarters Building and the airbase's former cinema Sunderland Lounge provide meeting spaces for community groups and events.

The Trusts approached the Your West Support Fund for help developing its exciting community empowerment programme. 'We are very grateful for the $10,000 funding,' reports Gavin. 'It will be spread across a range of projects to make a huge difference to our neighbourhood,' he adds.

It's fair to say that a lot is going on throughout Hobsonville. And with around 5,000 new homes already built and many more in the pipeline, the Trust will be busy for some time.

Check out the Hobsonville Community Trust's website for more information. Or keep updated on all the latest by following the organisation on Facebook.