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Source: Auckland Council

Franklin Local Board is celebrating working with the Maraetai Beach Boating Club on a toilet and shower project.

Chair Andy Baker says a $46,500 Franklin Sport and Active Recreation Facilities Plan has been well-spent, and what has been done is an example to others.

“This club is at the heart of its community. It’s more than a boating club and that is down to it being a place where all are welcome.

“It encourages groups to hire the clubrooms and has boating and community members, and actively encourages new people through its doors.”

The amount of money the club was able to commit to the project meant the board’s participation was like a partnership. “Members have worked tirelessly too, doing a lot of tasks that when combined have meant real savings, and the ability to achieve more.”

The club was formed in 1957, its over the water rooms opened in 1973, and a breakwater was added in the 1980s.

In 2014 redevelopment plans were unveiled. Two years later, financed from reserves, loans and club memberships, stage one began – asbestos removal, water leak, fire protection, interior upgrades and deck work completed just $2000 over-budget – costs the club met.

Fundraising for the second stage began immediately, while at the same time the club was repaying loans.

Today it is home to a raft of clubs and organisations and their activities.

Stage two develops the club as a community hub, the $430,000 project aimed at upgrading and adding new toilets and showers – with mobility access, storage and better kitchens.

“Even then the club divides the work to make it more achievable, the toilets and showers we are involved with in the first tranche of work, before enclosing the area and re-roofing, then the kitchen,” Baker says.

Board Wairoa representative Malcolm Bell says the club continues to be a major financier. “It’s always a case of them making big contributions before seeking help,” he says.

“When they came to us they had $30,000 and another $45,000 in pledges between Pub Charities and the NZ Communities Trust. We could see how hard they were working, and it was a case of chipping in to get the project over the line, rather than funding everything.

“You really want to see them succeed and be rewarded for all that hard work,” Bell says. “It’s been a privilege to play a small role, but it’s the club members who have made it happen.”

MIL OSI