A public meeting was held at the Orongomai Marae on the 1st September 1994 to register interest and need for a Women's Centre in Upper Hutt. About 80 women both individual and those representing groups and organisations attend as they all felt that there was a need in our community. A Steering Committee was formed, this group fundraised, lobbied the Upper Hutt City Council endlessly for support to find a home.
The Centre opened in Brown Street a year later to the day 1st September 1995. A Dawn Ceremony followed by a Formal Opening in the evening by Sonja Davies.
The Centre has since been relocated to Sinclair Street, then Savage Crescent, then Royal Street. Tragedy hit the Women's Centre with a break in and fire in the early hours of December 5th, 2003. Very little was salvageable from the fire. Smoke damage destroyed most resources and left our "home" uninhabitable. With no contents insurance the task of starting over from scratch was daunting. However we made it and re-opened our doors on 8th March 2004 at 6 Sinclair Street.
The community was wonderful to us in the face of the devastating fire. the trades people, business and members of the community who came forward and offered their time, money, skills and products has been really amazing. A huge thank you to everyone who helped us get back on our feet. However there was still a huge amount of work to do. Replacing the resources and equipment and extending the size of our new compact centre to cope with the required demands.
Fundraising went underway and a new building "The Royal Room" was completed in March 2005. This room is self contained and is used for workshops and courses. It is also used by counsellors when we required additional room.
The demands on our counselling service has increased dramatically and the Centre's space was not coping with these demands. Funding was secured to build an additional self contained room and was official opened on International Women's Day, 8th March 2012.
The Women's Centre is continually evolving and growing within the community and is driven by the needs of the Women in Upper Hutt.