The site of the former PAK’nSAVE supermarket in Commerce St, Kaitaia, is destined to become a much needed work and meeting space for local youth; all for a $2 investment by the newly formed Kaitaia Youth Centre.
Chris Quin, CEO, Foodstuffs North Island says, “We believe the future lies in supporting Kiwi youth, so we’ve granted a 50-year lease on the land and sold the building to the Kaitaia Youth Centre for the ‘SAVEyest’ possible deal of $2. Stickman is super proud!”
A fantastic youth-led social enterprise is set to help young people in Kaitaia realise their dreams; enabling them to meet, share their ideas for their future and put them into action, in large part due to PAK'nSAVE’s parent company, the Foodstuffs North Island Co-operative.
The Youth Centre project has been spearheaded by Andy Cuckney; a local and international consultant who has made the Far North his home.
“There is so much potential up here – our youth just need some focus and direction. Having a place to call their own, that they can invest in and develop to suit their needs is critical. We’re fully embracing the social enterprise concept, where anything that we do here to raise money from hard work will be reinvested back into the Centre and our projects. We are off to a flying start thanks to Foodstuffs. Their generous offer is amazing,” says Cuckney.
Quin adds, “When we opened a larger PAK’nSAVE on North Road back in 2011 to serve the community better, the original store was surplus to requirements. It did hold a special place in our hearts as the first ever PAK'nSAVE in New Zealand to open back in 1985, and we wanted to do something extraordinary to acknowledge the support Kaitaia has given us from the get-go.”
The project has the full support of Mayor John Carter.
“Like the rest of Kaitaia, I am very encouraged by plans to give the former PAK'nSAVE building a new lease of life and look forward to seeing this long-vacant building transformed into a focal point for positive change for our young people. I am sure that Kaitaia youth and the community will also be supportive of the objectives and plans being presented by the Social Enterprise Group leading this project."
The ‘Foodies’ team can’t wait to see how the work unfolds. “We’ve framed a $2 coin to hang on the wall for the moment the team has made it their own,” says Quin. “Opening day can’t come soon enough and our team at the ‘new’ PAK'nSAVE will be happy to help celebrate what we know is a wonderful solution to benefit the community for years to come.”