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KERRY GALLAGHER
Last updated 10:15 21/02/2013
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OFFICIAL OPENING: Prime Minister John Key will open the Muriwai surf club and community facility on Saturday.

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At the end of a 14-year journey, a $5 million facility will be more of a community hub than simply a surf club.

The Trusts Surf Club at Muriwai will be opened on Saturday by Prime Minister John Key.

It is being hailed as a new era for the club and the community.

The new building is 1930 square metres and has a hall that will seat 200 with overflow on to decks. It will be home to the likes of a sports fishing club, playgroup, arts trail, the environmental action trust and a film group.

For the volunteer lifeguard service, there is a state-of-the-art operations base and emergency medical station, improved storage for life-saving equipment, vehicles and rescue boats and a workshop.

A club lounge, bunkroom accommodation and kitchen facilities will be available for surf club members and visiting school and community groups.

There is also a classroom complete with audiovisual equipment.

Building Trust Rep Neil Reid says it is impossible to compare the new facility to those the club previously had.

"This is chalk and cheese. For the first time in the life of the club, since 1948, we're going to have something that not only fits the purpose for us but will fit a purpose for the community."

The old club rooms were built in the 1970s when club membership was about 140. There are now about 650 members.

They are also close to the erosion zone.

When they were built they were between 200 and 300 metres from the beach, Mr Reid says, but are now right on the edge of it.

The patrol tower has also had to shift three times since 1996.

The new facility is between the golf course and camping ground, about 400m back from the beach.

The project will finish a 14-year journey for the club.

The project was overseen by the Muriwai Lifeguard Service Amenities Trust and Mr Reid says it was a team effort, spearheaded by chairman Tim Jago.

Groups will be able to use meeting rooms and a community lounge and store gear on site.

Facilities will also be available for casual hire, with income being used to offset costs.

Saturday's ceremony will begin at 4pm. Mr Key will open the new surf clubhouse and other dignitaries include mayor Len Brown and chairman of the Trusts Community Foundation Ross Clow.

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