Bringing the surf club to the beach

Published on December 06, 2022

Waitarere Beach Surf Life Saving Community Facility - Beach Perspective.
Waitārere Beach is getting hotter with the construction of a new surf life saving community facility.

When visiting the beach this summer, you’ll see the new surf club rise from the dunes as Homestead Construction builds the new facility which will be in use next summer. 

Replacing the existing earthquake-prone building which is now run down, the new surf club structure will support surf life saving patrol, rescue operations and training. Construction began last month, with work due to be completed in November 2023. 

The new facility will be built closer to the water, meaning the surf club will be able to patrol the beach more effectively, and will have easier access to emergency equipment. 

Levin-Waitārere Surf Life Saving Club Chair, Andrew Parkin says, "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 obscured by dunes, making it difficult to patrol. 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."  

Mayor Bernie Wanden agreed that this project has 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." 

Features of the new fit-for-purpose building will include a patrol tower or watch room, changing rooms, toilets, showers, a first aid room, kitchen and facilities to accommodate up to 200 people for community related events. 

Training and beach education rooms will be available for junior surf development and youth beach safety education, school groups, the public and members of the club. 

The new surf club will also house storage facilities for rescue and training equipment.

Other features include a deck, patio, BBQ area, outside rinse showers and a washdown forecourt. 

The original building, built in the 1950s, was at the time about 35 metres away from the high water mark. The beach has steadily grown away from the building, moving between 1.5m to 2m each year. Seventy years since it was built, the surf club is now 80m away. 

The club have not used the building while patrolling for a number of years, instead using an old caravan on the shore. 

The caravan will remain in use this summer with patrols on the beach between Saturday 10 December 2022 and Sunday 12 March 2023. 

One of Council’s major capital expenditure projects, $3.2M was allocated to the design and build of the new facility. Council has 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 Waitārere Surf Life Saving Club has dedicated $1M to offset Council’s investment, the fit-out and pay for ongoing maintenance.