Christmas Market organiser Gareth Cashin with stallholders Lisa Trusler and Betty Salter outside the Wakapuaka Memorial Hall. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Making the Wakapuaka Hall great again


The Wakapuaka Memorial Hall has become the subject of a drive to get the community engaged with the building once again.

The hall was built in the 1950s and quickly became the pillar of the North Nelson rural community, hosting weddings, birthdays, community groups and events.

But, over the years, occupancy has dwindled and CLM’s Nelson community venues team member Gareth Cashin is spearheading the drive to bring the community back to the hall.

The latest in a string of events is the Wakapuaka Christmas Market, which will be held on Friday December 14, from 4pm to 7pm.

Gareth says the market boasts many unique stalls with opportunities to pick up last-minute gift ideas, grab a bite to eat, and simply catch up with other locals.

He says this is the third market he has organised, with the help and support of Nelson Farmers Market and promises to be the best one yet.

The market is indoors with some outdoor vendors, so will not be affected by weather and Eftpos is available, which is a new feature for the market.

The Christmas market is part of a six-month trial of monthly markets at the hall which Gareth hopes will take off and build, month by month.

Betty Salter has been busy preparing her range of artwork for the market – the first she has attended at the building.

“I think it’ll be jolly good if it takes off, if it can grow and people can keep coming then it’ll be great.”

She says she is happy to be a part of the market because there is nothing else like it in their community.