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One of the roles I have within our community and which is very special to me is as Patron of the Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club.

My association with surf lifesaving goes to back to my Nipper and Junior Surf days at Mairangi Bay through to being a Patrol Captain at Wainui Surf Club in Gisborne. I have enjoyed patrolling and competing for more than 30 years and now my daughter both patrols and competes for Orewa. I am proud of the service all our surf clubs provide, Orewa, Red Beach and Omaha and the terrific results they achieve each year in competition. However I would like to focus my comments on Orewa Surf Life Saving Club for this column. 

Orewa Surf Life Saving Club has been protecting people in the water since it was formed 66 years ago. In this time more than 1100 people have been rescued and their lives saved from drowning. Countless other interventions have also helped children, young people and adults have a more enjoyable time in and around the water.

The idea for a new clubhouse has been discussed for many years. Plans have been prepared, and resource consent gained. It is now time to get on and build this new facility.

The clubhouse was built in 1960, with additions and alterations made in the 1970s and early 1990s. It has been a great facility for rescue and water safety, and also as a facility for recreation and a variety of community functions for the benefit of the whole community. Like everything, its life is limited. It has served well, but it has served its time and needs replacing. 

This redevelopment is, however, beyond the resources of the Club to fund on their own. Support from individuals, corporations, trusts and community organisations who share this vision is essential to the success of the redevelopment and to ensure the future of surf lifesaving services on Orewa Beach and provide a facility to the benefit of all beach users and the local community. 

With this project, the Club is facing the most ambitious challenge since its establishment. To accomplish this, the Orewa Surf Life Saving Club wishes to launch a major fundraising campaign. Details of this will be released in Hibiscus Matters when they are finalised. This will be Mark’s only column in the paper prior to the September general election.

Column in Local Matters NZ

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