Te Aroha events centre gets boost

Last updated 10:40 07/03/2014
Te Aroha Events Centre
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BODY SITE PARK: An artist’s impression of the proposed Te Aroha Events Centre.

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The Te Aroha Events Centre fund is expected to get a significant boost thanks to a community construction initiative.

Spokesman Paul Williams said the latest fundraising project had been a house-building exercise which was in the final stages of decorating and landscaping.

The project had been supported by about 30 local businesses and would inject an estimated $50,000-$60,000 into the fundraising coffers, Mr Williams said.

He said the house, in Churchill Ave, would be completed as a "spec home" and placed on the market for sale by the section owners.

"Support from the community has been outstanding," Mr Williams said.

"We really appreciate all the assistance we have had from the local and the wider community contractors who have donated their time to build this house."

He said the fundraising target, $4.5 million, was getting closer and closer as a result of projects such as this.

The three-bedroom house was an initiative made possible by Aaron Haddon of Aaron Haddon Builders and Peter Carter of JT Carter Plumbers who brainstormed the idea "over a couple of beers" about 12 months ago.

"We originally thought of building a transportable house for sale," Mr Haddon said.

"But then we were approached by the owners of the Churchill Ave section and offered that as a site to build a spec home on.

"We are building it for a fixed price, and the donated materials and services have contributed to the fundraising for the events centre."

Events centre fundraising has been under way since 2010 and to date $2m has been raised, with another $2m pledged by Matamata-Piako District Council.

Other major contributors include the Lotteries Commission ($750,000), Trust Waikato ($120,000) and Silver Fern Farms which donated $500,000 as part of its farmer-raised community initiative fund.

Events centre committee chairman Peter Jager said it was hoped the target would be reached by October.

"Now we are in the process of applying for funds from organisations such as Transpower and Trust Waikato which we hope will bring in the final amount required," he said.

The centre will be built on Boyd Park, based on a two-court stadium which will also include a conference room suitable for weddings, funerals and other community occasions.

Mr Jager said the next step would see the events centre trust working in conjunction with the district council on resource consent, design and costing of the proposed facility so a more accurate target could be attained.

The building time line is late 2014 or early 2015.

Other fundraising projects planned for this year include the annual calf-rearing scheme, motorcycle poker run and a winter social occasion.

Donations are also being taken from members of the community who have joined the Half Million Dollar Club - to date 27 members have each pledged $10,000, to be paid over three years. Membership remains open, with the aim of reaching 50 members before the facility is built.

Meanwhile, the events centre committee is praising the community businesses for getting behind the house project.

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Builders, plumbers, electricians, plasterers, decorators, aluminium joiners, excavators, hire centres, nurseries, building supply outlets, roofers, concrete layers, surveyors have all come on board to help with their services and supplies.

"We cannot thank them enough," Mr Williams said.

"The events centre is happening thanks to community spirit like this."

- Waikato

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