Community Projects and Collaboration

Vector Group Charitable Trust submission to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council Long Term Plan 2018/2028

18 April 2018

Vector Group Charitable Trust submission to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council Long Term Plan 2018/2028

We thank you for the opportunity to make a submission to Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Long Term Plan 2018-2028.

We thank Council for engaging with us over the last year and for the progress made in addressing problems, developing ideas and progressing initiatives that have been proposed by various groups and individuals in various annual and long term plan submissions.

A great deal has been achieved and we congratulate WBOPDC for the added value that has been delivered to the Te Puke district.

This document includes a continuation on from the short term plan submission Vector Group submitted, as well as some reiteration from VGCT’s annual plan and statement of intent

Specific areas of consideration – [Sense of Place- Recreation, Support, Economic, Environmental, Social Enterprise, Entrepreneurial, Creativity, Tourism, Youth Development and Community Engagement] with outcomes demonstrating belonging, inclusion, relationship, diversity, celebration. We are committed to the advancement of our district’s goodness metanarrative. This document includes some of the thinking of Vector Group.

Vector Group Charitable Trust has a broad network of supporters that continues to grow, with special recognition to those who have supported in many ways as well as the close working relationship we have developed with Te Puke Economic Development Group (Mark R. Boyle). We have seen members of our community come together in support of many of the strategic initiatives we have been engaged with. Our vision is flexible yet focussed, continues momentum yet is able to change course as it sees fit. Our projects and initiatives go beyond ourselves and are tightly woven into each other, include support of others and for this reason we represent a diverse range of thinking, that leaps over the bounds of age, race, religion, identity classification and socio economic status. We are a not for profit that has a keen eye toward IT infrastructure, tourism, business, social enterprise, creativity, youth development and skills based training. Vector Group Charitable Trust’s vision was to create such a sense of place, a Youth and Community Centre in the heart of Te Puke, for connection, creativity, training and activity. We have achieved this and secured for the Te Puke community, the former RSA Building we now call home.

Arts and Culture, workshops and events, Museum.

As an emerging youth and community organisation Vector Group Charitable Trust (Envisioning Sustainable Communities Creatively), we are in full support of the Arts and Culture strategy, and it is our hope that there is a generous consideration of robust ongoing support to the Western Bay of Plenty and those who are strategically aligned to cultural, arts, media and creativity in all its forms (ie. Creative Bay of Plenty, Te Puke Repertory Society, Creative Te Puke).

We would like to add to the long term plan in asking that there would be considerable support in buildings and infrastructure towards groups like ourselves so we can focus on delivering and helping facilitate these key strategies in Te Puke and surrounding Districts. We have observed that Te Puke has not been adequately supported. WBOPDC support is necessary for Te Puke to grow with focus in arts and culture.  We see this as an ever-increasing value for our neighbourhoods.

We believe that Arts and Culture is holistic and plays a key part in both physical and mental health, places value on expression and identity, is inclusive, and educational, encourages engagement and participation, innovation, intellectual development, and benefits all areas of society, environment, economy, academia and business.  Arts and Culture increases value and belonging and a purposed direction toward a sense of place.

As a trust we hope to have this key strategy supported by supporting funding to groups who collaborate and cooperate to deliver these priorities. We need the support of local council in considering Arts and Culture Infrastructure within Te Puke and local districts with building spaces and dedicated places of expressive creativity. Vector group Charitable trust would like to be considered for this support, as we continue to create a sense of place for community engagement in these above priorities.

We support BOP Film, are engaged as Te Puke Film, Music, Dance, Graffit and ask that council carefully consider supporting film and other creatives in our region. Particularly groups and individuals engaged in film/media, docos and local story.

A sense of Place – Te Puke Community Development Plan and Community Groups

We have successfully initiated a youth and community centre and have been operational since March of 2017, initially at 72 Jellicoe Street, and since November 2017 in the former RSA building 16 Oxford Street, Te Puke. We have a growing number of community groups that use it, People First, Nga Kakano, Te Puke Community Board, ZUMBA, Tai Chi, Social Table Tennis, BOP Film, COGS, Social Link, Rush Wipeha – Breaking and Hip Hop and many others. Our space is very unique with table tennis tables, pool table, pop up ball shop, sound gear, conference room, film headquarters, bar, café, a dance floor and much more.

  • Purpose built youth Creatives community centre, currently we hold a 9-year lease and are the only community centre in Te Puke with a long-term lease hold. During this 9 years, we would like to gain support from council to develop a purpose-built building that is a youth and community facility that is creatives/film/media/business/tourism concentric.
  • Dedicated free Wi-Fi tower like in Tauranga in at least two locations
  • Te Puke Radio – youth and community led
  • Te Puke Tourism – Travel, Tours, Accommodation, value adding to TP EDG.
  • Te Puke Recording Studio, cultural, bands, music
  • Te Puke Trade show and intro, youth get exposed to trades not just academia, opportunity for signups, voluntary, cv building, experience.
    • Bootcamps – CACTUS – Mahi Performance
    • Health workshops
    • Pilates, laughing yoga, open spaces public fun park exercise
    • Youth into gyms, boxing and fitness, MMA
    • Youth trained as PT
    • First aid and emergency response courses
    • Dance, ZUMBA and creative arts studio
    • Tai Chi
    • Coding workshops

Cultural Awareness, Integration and Development

VGCT is committed to inclusivity in our region. Engaging youth on our panel from various ethnic groups, to, making our venue available to Pacific Island and Asian groups, is a high priority. We support any initiative that is engaged at integrating foreign culture and experience alongside our unique Te Puke experience. We would like to see council support- social-multi cultural festivals, interaction and strategic business and community development with culturally diverse participants. VGCT would jump at any opportunity to be part of such a focus and will continue to extend arms to culture, dance and diverse people groups.

We would also like to see the development of a vibrant backpackers/tourist accommodation in Te Puke. We see a key location at Te Puke Backpackers (Tracey Wallace-Hutchins) and ask that council please consider supporting such an initiative and any similar.

Youth Training, Development and Employment, Education

Whilst we encourage the academic pursuit of students, we also would like to see more focus on trades. A recent article from the US highlights the importance on why we should not ignore trades, and need for a restructure in our thinking that unfortunately has had more emphasis on Academia for all.

One of the key factors behind Vector Group Charitable Trust’s youth focus was birthed out of the Otorohanga (Mayoral Task Force- Dale Williams ) Model, from the Mayor down. Te Puke doesn’t have this privilege and we have found support for Youth Development and Skills Based Training in our area lacking the kind of support we need to be successful and sustainable. Some youth go off to tertiary study but many (48%) go straight into the workforce, albeit, Kiwi Fruit, café, part time work, taking a gap year or starting a business.

Comments we hear from teens are, that they have no practical skills, ie. Barista training, trade experience or being given opportunities to explore. Some don’t even know how to open a bank account, irrespective of excelling students at High School. We can envision trade and entrepreneurial expos, training and resources to be strategically necessary for the future of our Te Puke youth and community growth and vibrancy.

We continue to support schools in our area, specifically Alternative Education, Te Puke High School students, home schooled and out of town youth education, with active engagement in film, sport, youth venue, creatives and learning.  We would like to see support with youth development programs as we look at PTE integration and options, skills development, volunteerism, cv building and job placement.

We encourage council to support the effort of all public and private initiatives to create training and employment opportunities for all demographics in the Te Puke area and in particular training and jobs that will add value to Te puke specific economic activity. We value local Iwi initiatives and projects that engage with our Rangitahi and continue to engage in reciprocal relationships.

The future of Te Puke RSE and seasonal work is not secure with the exponential capacity of new tech, particularly robotics and automation. Concerns around how a machine would be taxed are raised when robots replace the human (paye). The forecasted loss of jobs is not a thing to be laughed at, as it has the potential of having a large scale negative impact on Te Puke. The challenge of the future has not fully been realised yet, and we see this as an opportunity to begin with our youth with educational and vocational focus on accounting, legal ramifications, software development and programming, security, robotics and AI. Support from council and leaders in this tech industry are crucial for the survival of Te Puke. Take away kiwifruit and avocado seasonal work/packhouse/picking, and Te Puke and Districts will be sorely affected.

VGCT Te Puke PTE / BMINZ / Safer Teams / Toi Ohomai

  • Health and safety training
  • Forklift licensing
  • Agribusiness training
  • Robotics, software development, programming, security, networking.
  • Marketing training and workshops
  • Business mentoring and training
  • Barista Training and workshops
  • Hair dressing training and workshops
  • Specific and transferable skills based workshops
  • Setting up youth in business, entrepreneurial, social enterprise.
  • Sewing and industrial sewing machine operation
  • Film and media
  • Computer training
  • Web development
  • Non-violent communication

Aquatic and Action Centre – Te Puke High School

A youth survey VGCT ran in 2017 highlighted the need for events and places youth could feel a sense of belonging. Although an aquatic centre would be a strain on ratepayers, we see an aquatic centre as a necessity, and if not now, will be realised in future re-evaluations. With the growth of our region, Te Puke shows great opportunity to lift its game with engaging youth and family. It is often argued that Rotorua has much going for it, yet many events and places to visit, are not centred around hot mud and geysers. We have a unique opportunity to build a sense of place in Te Puke and surrounding districts and VGCT support the proposal for an aquatic centre and any other attractions that may build a community’s sense of wellbeing, activity, belonging and ownership.

Waste Management

With the impending future of closing refuse centres, we see both a need and opportunity for enterprise in waste management and conversion. There is technology to convert plastic waste back to oils and fuel. Additionally, tech that can turn green waste into marketable compost and soil nutrients in just 24 hours. We have youth with interests in recycling and waste and environmental concerns. These areas will be addresses now or in future and it is better to begin the process of change now rather than later. VGCT would love the opportunity to place youth into new tech in our region alongside council led initiatives that could potentially bring in finance in addition to funding and ratepayer revenue for the council. Te Puke and regions have an incredible amount of kiwifruit and avocado waste that could be turned around. Support toward feasibility studies, and support of a working group alongside larger scale organisations could see more work opportunities for youth, progressive thinking and collaboration as a community concerned with its environmental footprint and future sustainability.

Cycleways and Walkways

VGCT supports Te Ara Kahikatea -. Walkway/Wetlands/Revegetation. We have committed time and resources where we could, and see cycleways and walkways as beneficial to environmental awareness, as also, personal wellbeing. We would like to see continued support to cycleway and walks developed in our area to waterfalls, rivers, waterholes and attractions. We see this as key to attracting family and a healthy community.


We have observed that Western Bay of Plenty, particularly Papamoa Hills to Otaramakau has little support compared to Tourism BOP. Having been involved in Governmental marketing strategy in Samoa, I see a Tourism opportunity in Te Puke and Districts that is currently under supported. We would like to see support and allocation of funding in this area and the opportunity to work alongside key stakeholders in the Tourism industry, Tourism operators, places of culture, unique experiences, local and international promotion and new product development. VGCT is in support of Te Puke EDG with their submissions to council and Tourism BOP. Linking Te Puke and Districts in with Rotorua as an international attraction would also strengthen our highly differentiated and unique region’s goodness.

We support TP EDG request for the management of a Tourism Promotional and Development fund as put forward in their Long Term Plan Submission to WBOPDC.

We are excited to watch and support in any way possible, the progress being made for a WBOP Tourism facility in the Rangiuru Business Park.

Business Attraction Fund –
Town Centre Development and Retail Success

We support TPEDG’s request for a Business Attraction Fund for Te Puke. Support EPIC’s initiatives to value add to Te Puke’s retail success. VGCT is committed to supporting any group or individual who is purposed toward the Goodness of Te Puke.

In addition, we would like to see a clamp down on illegal business immigration activity, ie. Those securing shops and closing them down as if operational but known to be operating illegally. Investigation into illegitimate business in Te Puke, orchardists, picking gangs, shops, and payments to business owners to falsely employ individuals under the pretence as store managers and such like. A restriction on shop fronts and commercial buildings being rented or bought by business that has no customer service (immigration front) and substantial fines and legal action to those engaging in the marginalisation of others. We see this kind of activity as detrimental to the growth of Te Puke and if not engaged, will have significant impact on future employment for our youth and community members. A number of shop fronts in Te Puke are locked out (shut down) or not able to be accessed, stopping legitimate business from entering Te Puke. We would love to see boutique cheese shops, butcher, and similar lift the vibe in Te Puke.

We also support and have vision for:

  • Support of Te Puke Environmental forum
    • Support to environmental groups
    • Raising awareness, film, web, radio, magazine et al.
    • Electric bike hire
    • Water testing and training
    • Recycling and zero waste workshops
    • Solar initiatives and workshops
    • Clean up NZ and additional “Te Puke” clean-up focus weeks
  • Supporting the Jubilee Park extension
    • Multipurpose Professional Skate Bowl/Pool. Winter is skate bowl, half of summer is used as pool.
    • Multipurpose Outdoor skating rink/toddler pool – see Caroline Bay Park example, Timaru.
    • Small walk through rose garden with seating
    • Lock up stall shops, can be used as food outlets for events and/or fair activities
    • Power by skatepark security camera on top side for us to setup sound equipment
    • Movies in the Park, Outdoor cinema initiated by Te Puke Film
    • Festival and competitions-
      • Miss Te Puke Pageant
      • Bboy Comps, Cultural, Hip hop
      • Music in the Park
      • Other events and festival initiatives

Thankyou for taking the time to see the breadth of what we do and we encourage council to continue to grow in relationship with VGCT through supporting us with a service delivery contract for 2018 and beyond. We support TP EDG request to continue with theirs, but in addition to, we would also like to be considered for areas we differentiate and contribute to supporting TP EDG.

We invite councillors to visit our website

and social portals ,

read our TEPUKEMAG ,

watch our Short Film  (Runner up BOP, Best Cinematography BOP, National Winner Film Design Cover 2017- HP48) .

We also invite councillors to visit and see other sites we have developed for Te Puke, ie.

We would also like to invite councillors to register for the Te Puke Weekly Newsletter that VGCT produces for TP EDG (Mark R Boyle).



Steve Fawcett






About Vector Group

Vision: A community where diversity is celebrated, and every person feels included. Mission: To create opportunities for healthy connections and self-expression. To support people who work with young people, and thereby enhance youth engagement and development and creatives so that young people thrive.