The birth of the new surf club and community centre in Muriwai has come after 14 years and nine months of hard labour.
About 1000 people visited the opening day to have a good look at the $5 million facility and others praising a gathering place big enough for residents.
The Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service already has about 650 members. Official ceremonies on February 23 began with an emotional dawn whakawatea ceremony led by Ngati Whatua rangatira Glen Wilcox. The building was blessed with a pohutukawa branch from the old surf club which was built in the 1970s. It has battled sand dune erosion over the years and the patrol tower has also had to shift three times since 1996.
The midday opening featured Prime Minister John Key and Auckland Mayor Len Brown cutting the ribbon with the help of children and youths from Muriwai nippers, Muriwai Fishing Club, Muriwai Playgroup and the Maori Bay Boardriders.
Tim Jago, Muriwai Lifeguard Service Amenities Trust chairman, says the superlatives are flowing with great feedback from the first school group using the centre.
He thanks everyone who contributed to the design, construction, landscaping, fit-out and funding of the project.
Muriwai Playgroup president Kirsty O'Hara says the building will be a great benefit allowing them to operate all-year round.
"We also have had playgroup equipment damaged due to the old surf club badly leaking. It will be fantastic that any new equipment we purchase will be safe and dry in its amazing new home."
She says will be a community hub.
There is still $275,000 needed to pay the final building costs, along with some finishing touches.
Katie Shepherd is an AUT graduate
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should we raise the retirement age?