The social services village Te Ara Hou (The New Way) celebrated its 10th anniversary this month with a party attended by local dignitaries, agency workers, clients, residents and people from the neighbourhood.
In pre-European times the land was a village, Mangaonua, resourcing the local tribes with food from the stream and crops. After the land wars it became a sizeable farm which was later subdivided. The present site became a residence for the Society for the Intellectually Handicapped, Christopher Park. From there it became Chanel Park the headquarters for the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton.
In 1999 the land and buildings were purchased by the Hamilton City Council in order to facilitate the founding a social work village. To this end they retained ownership of part of the land and on-sold the buildings to a Trust set up for the purpose of operating and promoting the Village and to promote social services generally in the Waikato region. The remainder of the land was purchased by the Anglican Diocese of Waikato in order to preserve the potential of a village concept.
Te Ara Hou (The New Way) is an innovative village where we work together to respond holistically to meet people’s needs: a community of agencies collaborating for the benefit of all. The village honours the partnership inherent in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
The friary moved to Te Ara Hou in December 2001 and is an integral part of the village. The friary offers spiritual resources and encouragement for the staff of the various agencies on site; daily chapel offices and eucharist; hospitality to guests and visitors; and a place of peace, quiet and refreshment in the midst of an often hectic and confusing setting.
The present village is a model of co-operation and a tribute to the foresight of those who worked so hard for the vision they held.
Congratulations Te Ara Hou!