Work on a day shelter for Nelson’s homeless, Whare Haumanu, is progressing with an anticipated opening in May ahead of the cold winter months.

The project is a combined project from The Male Room, Nelson City Council, and Nelson city’s Rotary clubs spearheaded by Rotary Club of Nelson President Gaile Noonan.

Noonan said building consent applications were in and expected to be granted in the coming week or two, followed swiftly by construction.

“We’re comfortable with where we’re at,” she said.

Published in Stuff

“It’s coming together quite quickly, that’s what happens when you use these portacom buildings, you can just get the site ready and then drop it in.”

She said there was a lot of work going on behind the scenes, with weekly meetings to keep everything on track.

Last Friday there was a dawn mauri stone laying ceremony at the site – the stone represents the life force or essence of the building and the work carried out in it.

Male Room director Philip Chapman said the ceremony was “quite emotional”.

“It’s very exciting to get to this stage.”

He said Rotary were “on the ball” on the project, and things at the site were now ready for construction.

“It’s looking very promising.”

He said he now was looking further ahead to furnishing Whare Haumanu, something which had already received an unexpected kick-start after a Facebook post about the Mauri stone ceremony.

“We got such a good response from that … I actually got a guy who I met years ago from Wales getting in touch saying, ‘can I donate some money?’

“Getting the building is going to be great, but we’re still going to need some cash for setting it up.”

The old friend from Wales had funded a few microwaves, Chapman said, but he was already turning his mond to what else would be needed: a stove, washing machines, and other basics.

He said there would likely be a Givealittle page set up, but in the meantime anyone who wanted to donate could get in touch with Male Room manager Louis Chapman at

By Skara Bohny
Published in Stuff
25 Mar 2021