Iwi organises courthouse renovation

The courthouse facade is unlikely to change.

The historic Warkworth District Courthouse in Elizabeth Street is about to get a makeover.

But don’t panic, the outside facade is unlikely to change.

Owners Ngati Manuhiri have taken over the building following the end of the Crown lease on the site.

The courthouse was part of the iwi’s Deed of Settlement under the Waitangi Tribunal, dated May 2011.

Ngati Manuhiri Settlement Trust chief executive Mook Hohneck says the courthouse will become his
iwi’s headquarters.

Ngati Manuhiri already employs four fulltime and two casual employees, and this is likely to increase with the move to Warkworth.

The iwi is involved in a wide range of cultural activities from building consents and impact assessments to coastlines, fisheries and the Resource Management Act. They also play an important role in conservation and protection of native species.

Mook says that if all goes according to plan, Ngati Manuhiri will be in the building around June.

“We have designers and heritage professionals looking at the building now, and we will be guided by them,” he says.

“We’re not expecting the outside to change, but the annex will be significantly renovated into offices. As far as the old courtroom goes, we will keep that as authentic as possible, possibly using it as a boardroom.

“Our goal is to have the building looking even better than it does now.”

The former courtroom may be destined to become a boardroom.


Food rescue needs lifeline

After nearly three years of helping to put food on the tables of struggling families in Mahurangi, the Warkworth Food Rescue Service is itself in need of a helping hand. The service is currently based at the Warkworth Courthouse, but will have to move when renovations start this month (see story, left).

The service is a combined initiative of Warkworth Rotary and Lions, and has diverted nearly 45 tonnes of good food from ending up in landfill.

The food is sourced from various places including supermarkets, businesses and private individuals. Volunteer Joe Koppens says ideally, the service needs premises with two rooms – one for collecting and sorting, and the other for storage.

“We’re very keen to keep going, but without premises that won’t be possible,” Joe says. If anyone can help or has a suggestion of where the service could move to, they are asked to call Joe on 027 600 5069.


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