A bold plan to set up shop in the heart of Ostend signals a mainstreet future for Waiheke Island Society for the Care of Animals.
The vision centres on a new two-storey building at 26 Belgium Street, purpose-built to house the charity’s busy op shop, and with spaces designated for animal care and education.
Dave Thompson, one of the members of Wisca’s management committee charged with steering the building project, says the organisation has outgrown the sprawling building that attracts a constant flow of shoppers at the junction of Ocean Road and Pacific Parade.
“It was a house that the SPCA spent time modifying to what it has become. You’ve got people out the back trying to sort things, and you’ve got animals to be looked after. And we’ve got health and safety to look after. It’s a mission.
“In my mind, if an organisation hasn’t got a focus on growth and getting better then you’re really going backwards,” says Dave, who joined the committee in 2016 when he retired from a career in the forestry industry.
Every building the committee looked at came with a problem, says Dave. Buying the section in the Belgium Street shopping hub and designing a building fit for purpose seemed like the best option.
Dave says that once the decision was made to put in an offer to buy the Belgium Street land, the next steps were figuring out financing the project and the committee being courageous enough to make the decision to go ahead.• Erin Johnson
Full story in this week’s Gulf New’s… Out Now!!!