The Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute (BGI), a youth development organisation founded in 1883, has officially opened their new building. Governor-General of New Zealand Sir Jerry Mateparae lead the ceremony.
BGI work with young people and the community to provide mentoring, cultural exploration, and therapeutic adventure for at-risk youth.
The building was designed by Richard Dodd of Jasmax Architects, whose architecture seeks to blend BGI’s long history of biculturalism with sleek modern design. The original building on MacDonald Crescent has been transformed into an earthquake-strengthened modern office and community space.
In his speech Sir Jerry Mateparae spoke of the values of the BGI; the service which strives for excellency of rangatahi (young people) with the help of volunteers and an enterprising spirit.
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“We must support them to reach their potential,” said Sir Jerry Mateparae.
Sir Richard Taylor, founder and Creative Director of Weta Workshops, also spoke at the opening ceremony and explained how he came to have a long relationship with the BGI, which began after using their original building for filming a TV commercial whilst studying at the former Wellington Polytechnic.
The BGI building also houses a large community kitchen and versatile open plan office space for the organisation’s leaders.
BGI works with over 1500 young people in Wellington, ranging from 9–25 in age, and aims to help young people reach their full potential by providing a “range of holistic youth and family development services.”