Building the Waitārere Beach Surf Life Saving Community Facility

Published on October 28, 2022

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Waitārere Beach Surf Life Saving Community Facility will soon be a reality

Construction of the new Waitārere Beach Surf Life Saving Community Facility is planned to commence in November to replace the existing run down, no longer fit for purpose earthquake-prone building.

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.

Following an open tender process, local company Homestead Construction was selected for the design and build project. Over the past year the club has been closely working with Homestead Construction to design a fit for purpose building. Construction will take place from November 2022 until November 2023. 

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.

The new building will have

  • 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.

Why do we need a new building?

The building is run down, not fit for purpose and earthquake-prone.

The current building is 80 metres from the high tide mark, making it difficult for life saving patrols. The growing dunes have encased the lower floor in sand, creating a basement.

The building will support the following activities:

  • Surf Lifeguard Patrols throughout the summer period
  • Junior Surf Saturday (up to 80 juniors attending)
  • Junior Surf holiday programme
  • Sports training and events
  • Lifeguard training and courses
  • Surf Club social events such as prizegivings (up to 200 people)
  • Closely aligned activities to surf life saving.

In 2013 Horowhenua District Council first resolved for Council Officers to work with the project steering group to progress the project. 

The surf club and the community have advocated for this new facility for over a decade. The project is a key priority in the Waitārere Beach Community Plan. 

Council considers surf life saving activities a vital part of the beach service in its seaside communities. Therefore, Council committed in the 2021-2041 Long Term Plan to 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.