Greytown Old Library lease awarded to local artisans

At the 5 June South Wairarapa District Council Strategy Working Committee (SWC) meeting, the lease of Greytown’s Old Library was awarded to Te Hupenui/Greytown Artists Incorporated (Te Hupenui) following Expressions of Interest being sought earlier in the year.

Council officers recommended that the SWC award the lease to Te Hupenui as the application provided strong alignment with the reserve management plan and had a strong community development dimension. While these decisions would usually come under the discretion of the Chief Executive, due to the high public interest in the building, the approval of the lease was delegated to the SWC.

Stefan Corbett, Group Manager of Infrastructure and Community Operations shared in the meeting that the group’s application was presented professionally and passionately, supporting both a commercial and community perspective.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the decision from SWDC to lease the Old Library building in Greytown to us. It means so much to so many people and we have all worked incredibly hard to make this happen. Current and future artists now have the stability of a long-term place to showcase their work, teach and inspire others and be part of a very special arts community that we have created,” says Rebecca Kempton, co-founder and treasurer of Te Hupenui.

Councillor Martin Bosley shares that “not only does the group showcase talented artists from around the district, the additional value they bring in the form of initiatives such as workshops and their commitment to Te Ao Māori only strengthens why they deserve to be here. As a Greytown resident, I wholeheartedly support this group as being a vital asset to not only their local community, but to the wider South Wairarapa district.”

The Greytown Old Library building was constructed around 1890 by Milton Varnham for the Masonic Lodge, and later became Greytown’s library from 1980 until 2007. Since then, it has been leased by Council to a variety of commercial businesses. Te Hupenui has occupied the Old Library on a venue hire basis since November 2023. Council officers are currently preparing documentation to formalise the agreement which is expected to commence on 1 August 2024.


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