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Friday, 19 April 2019 08:23 pm

Karori public meeting to talk about empty teacher campus

Karori residents want hundreds of their fellow locals at a meeting on April 26 to have a say in the future of the former teacher training campus.

People like Rob Gourdie fear Karori will lose its focal point in the wake of Victoria University leaving the campus.

Victoria is considering what to do with the property and Gourdie, who has also helped set up a petition, wants to focus on retaining the faculties for community use.

An empty chair sits outside of PA Lecture theatre one- Where most teaching students had their first teaching lectures

An empty chair sits outside of PA Lecture theatre one- Where most teaching students had their first teaching lecture.

“The Karori campus is actually one of the last remaining opportunities to have a focal point for the community with its facilities which are predominantly used for recreation,” he said.

“If we lose this what does Karori become? Karori becomes a dead suburb. It will lack identity because it’ll have lost its focal point.”

Gourdie announced on the I Love Karori Facebook page that the Karori Association and Victoria had organised the meeting at the campus.

The Te Whanau Whanui o Ako Pai Facebook page connected with the marae on the campus also posted that Victoria University had announced the meeting.

Gourdie said organisers of the petition wanted to get more signatures, quantify support and “to bring that and present it at the public meeting at the 26th”.

The meeting is at the Allen Ward VC Hall 4.30-6pm.

“It is a 400 seat auditorium and I think we could quite happily fill it,” Gourdie said.

In response to questions from NewsWire, Victoria University Chief Operating officer, Mark Loveard said there was no definite plan for the campus yet.

“We understand there is a community interest in what will happen to the campus. We will keep the community informed as we move through the process.”

Wellington city councillors Simon Woolf and Andy Foster attended a meeting in the last week of March with Vice Chancellor of Victoria University Grant Gilford.

Woolf said they outlined the community’s concerns with the campus and its potential uses. Woolf also says Gilford was aware and sympathetic.

“From a Wellington City Council perspective, both politically and operationally, the lines of communication are very much open, and ongoing,” Woolf said.

There was another meeting in the last week with local organisations organised by the council.

Those who attended included Karori Normal School, the Karori Association, the university, and sports groups which use the facilities.

People attending the meeting have been asked to RSVP to for catering purposes.

Karori Campus in correlation to the surrounding suburb

Karori Campus coloured in light brown in relation to the surrounding suburb

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