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Fresh purpose for iconic Ark



13 MF-the Ark-465A unique and distinctive structure sitting on the main route through Kaiwaka is destined to become the new centre for east-Kaipara residents’ holistic health care, thanks to a couple’s desire to give back to their community.

The town’s boat building with its distinguishing dove-figurehead, The Ark, created by the ‘Wizard of Utopia’ Peter Harris in 2014, had been empty for some time before Heidi Clark and husband Anchal took ownership in May.

The couple were inspired to provide a communal space for entrepreneurs to come together and offer a wide range of services that benefit others by the idea of ‘the gift economy’.

“It’s a concept where you give without thinking ‘what's in it for me’ or ‘what will I get in return’,” she says “We all have something to give, a special skill or talent.”

An exemplar of talent herself, Heidi is Kaipara District Council’s communications manager, holds an MBA [Masters of Business Administration], a certificate in permaculture and is also a certified yoga instructor.

“Not the usual combination,” she says. “So social entrepreneurship and helping others to live a healthier, happier and less stressful life while being a high performer is something that is appealing.”

The couple have been busy completely renovating the interior over the two months, adding new insulation and gib, fresh paint and new lighting to the building’s rooms. A heat pump has also been installed in the hall to create a warm and welcoming space where workshops, classes and meetings can be held.

The Ark-625“Rooms have been taken by Kaiwaka Cares and a naturopathic practitioner. There are still therapy rooms available that I am hoping some wellness practitioners, physio, osteopathic or counselling professionals will fill,” Heidi says. “I have also reserved one room for hot desking to support social enterprises in the community. We will be

starting Pilates and yoga classes in August and would be happy to see more classes for the community happening.”

Anchal, who also holds an MBA, will also be offering ‘laughter yoga classes’ and community ‘kirtan’, meditative music based on ancient chants, along with the ‘tabla’, traditional Indian drums.

A blessing of the new facilities by local Kaumatua, and an open house will be held on July 22, 12-4pm. All welcome.

“Anyone who likes the idea of sharing an entrepreneurial space within a cooperative charitable trust is most welcome to join us.”

Please contact Heidi, 022 020 8800, if interested in renting a room or for more information.

NEW CONCEPT: Ansal and Heidi with 2-year-old daughter Priya outside the location of their gift to the community, The Ark.

RENOVATED: Kaiwaka’s distinctive Ark is set to become a thriving social wellness and therapy centre.

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