Co-working spaces are starting to infiltrate New Zealand’s regions, and Porirua is no exception to 'the future of work'.
The city is already home to City Hub, a place where businesses, freelancers, and startups can set up for different time periods.
From October, another co-working space will come to town. The Settlement co-working space originated in Petone and according to founder James Walshe, it’s already proving popular.
“Co-working is a growth industry and you don’t need to be tied to an office lease or have the cost of an office setup any more. Bring in a laptop, plug in and you’re away,” Walshe says.
He also says that co-working is now established in large centres, and even places such as Westport and Carterton.
He describes it as the future of work as people move away from the daily commute to opt for more flexible hours and, collaborative workplaces.
With that, James and Meredith Walshe decided to set up shop in Porirua. The Settlement will soon occupy a 625 square metre site on the first floor above City Fitness at 1 Walton Leigh Avenue.
The fitout is currently in progress, with James Walshe saying it’s a beautiful and brand new space. It will also house up to 100 people.
Walshe says that Porirua is on the road to growth and is home to a large number of small businesses. He says The Settlement is about providing a place to help them grow.
Porirua City manager of City Growth and Strategic Property, Darryn Grant, adds that the community is demanding co-working spaces in the city.
While the Porirua City Council is not directly funding The Settlement, it is in discussions with Walshe about promoting awareness and opportunities for local businesses.
“We heard from the community at the Summit how important spaces for our businesses are to their development and growth. We know it will provide a great avenue for business to thrive,” comments Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.
Walshe says that The Settlement located in Petone has car parking, is close to public transport, and has all mod-cons including tea and coffee, ultra-fast WiFi, modern workspaces, and meeting rooms equipped with smart TVs and projectors.
So far a range of professionals use the Petone space for hours or days, depending on their needs. These include accountants, architects, consultants, designers, developers, engineers, PR workers, and sales reps.
“We’re ticking a lot of boxes for individuals and businesses as a place to set up, along with organisations looking for space for workshops, seminars and events,” Walshe concludes.
In Petone and Porirua people can buy a package to suit their needs – from a 10-day ticket to a monthly deal. There is the ability to hot desk but also have a permanent spot.