Construction of the new Waitārere Beach Surf Life Saving Community Facility is scheduled to begin next month to replace the existing no longer fit for purpose earthquake-prone building, Horowhenua District Council has announced.
Mayor, Bernie Wanden said the surf club project had been a long time coming.
“To see the aspirations of the community and in particular the Surf Life Saving community come to life, in partnership with Horowhenua District Council, is pretty exciting. The next three years will focus on delivering for Horowhenua, and having this project commencing sends a signal to that,” the Mayor said.
The new Community Facility will support surf life saving patrol and rescue operations and training. It will also provide the Levin-Waitārere Surf Life Saving Club and the community with a facility that can host up to 200 people, he said.
Horowhenua District Council’s Chief Executive, Monique Davidson said the surf club and community had advocated for the new facility for more than a decade.
“The project is a key priority in the Waitārere Beach Community Plan and will be welcome news to the thousands of people who flock to our beautiful beach,” said Ms Davidson.
In the 2021-2041 Long Term Plan, Council set aside $3.2m to design and build the new facility as part of major capital expenditure projects with the requirement that the Levin-Waitārere Surf Life Saving Club provide funding of $1m to offset Council’s investment. The club has since successfully secured $1m for the project through Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s allocation of Central Government funding, and additional external funding is currently being sought.
“It is great to be involved with Horowhenua District Council on another project. Their innovative approach to working with surf life saving clubs is setting the standard nationally and we hope other Councils will follow their example,” said Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Dalton.
“It is easy to underestimate the pressure that goes on our volunteers to take on projects of this size, so having the Council take the lead in managing the project is a key reason why this project has been able to progress as quickly. My sincere thanks to the Council team for all the work that has gone to getting us to this exciting point.”
Following an open tender process, local company Homestead Construction was selected for the design and build project. Construction is expected to take 12 months.
Levin-Waitārere Surf Life Saving Club Chair, Andrew Parkin said the club was excited about the new facility.
“Our club has been investigating options to construct a new building closer to the beach as we are currently more than 80 metres from the high tide mark, with the beach and surf obsured by dunes, making it difficult to patrol,” he said.
“The new facility has been a long time in the planning and will be something that everyone can use. We can’t wait to move in.”
The new building will have the following features:
- A patrol tower or watch room;
- Training and beach education rooms for junior surf development and youth beach safety education which are open to school groups, the public and members of the club;
- Kitchen and facilities to accommodate up to 200 people for community related events that closely align with surf life saving;
- Changing rooms, toilets and showers;
- First Aid room;
- Storage facilities for the Surf Life Saving Club’s rescue and training equipment;
- Other features include a deck, patio, BBQ area, outside rinse showers and a washdown forecourt.
Council has more recently submitted an application to the Department of Internal Affairs as part of the Three Waters Better Off Funding Package, to contribute an additional $400k towards upgrading public toilets and the wider public amenity surrounding the new Surf Life Saving Community Facility.