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‘EXCITING TIMES’

Midway surf rescue hub to include restaurant, kiosk, community lounge, state-of-the-art tower.

More than 50 years of surf lifesaving history in Gisborne has been coming down since Monday afternoon as contractors demolish the Midway clubhouse.

The surf lifesaving club is to be replaced by a multi-purpose building in a multimillion-dollar project expected to take about 15 months.

“These are exciting times for our club,” Midway Surf Rescue Community Trust's Anna Roberts said.

“The creation of our new Midway Surf Rescue Community Hub will have the Dawson Building Midway Surf Life Saving Club at the very heart of it.”

“The trust and the Midway club is thrilled to finally be at demolition stage,” Mrs Roberts said.

“It's been a long time coming and a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes by the trust and many others to get the redevelopment to this point.”

The demolition work will take two to three weeks.

“The construction of the new ‘hub' will take about 15 months, depending on availability of materials and how Covid-19 behaves.”

The new building will include a state-of-the-art lifeguarding tower upstairs with 180-degree sea views.

“There will be a members' lounge, as well as new offices for coaching staff and administration to enjoy,” Mrs Roberts said.

“Upstairs there will also be a restaurant with a fun, family beach vibe, as well as a community lounge, which will be hired out to the community and will seat 150-plus people.

“Downstairs there will be facilities for community storage for like-minded water sport groups such as Gisborne Boardriders, as well as a first aid room and the remainder of the surf lifesaving club.”

“A kiosk will also be located there and will service the growing precinct and waterfront development, benefiting tourists and the Tairawhiti community.

“We are very excited to take this opportunity to create a fabulous space for all of our community and whanau to enjoy in one of Gisborne's most iconic locations,” Mrs Roberts said.

“We have an unique opportunity to create something special for Tairawhiti to enjoy for many years to come.”

'Vibrant community hub'

The club also has plans to establish a high performance academy, bringing together aquatic sport-based community groups and individuals “to connect, collaborate and succeed”.

“The academy will offer leadership pathways, performance, inspiration, culture, trainings, workshops, seminars, speakers and high performance programmes for youth who specialise in aquatic sports. “We want our new facility to be seen as a vibrant community hub for the general public and recreational users to enjoy.

“It will be a building the community will be proud of . . . leading the Midway waterfront precinct into the future for generations.”

Club trustees have worked closely with Nga Tawhiri iwi to continue the connection between Turanganui-a-Kiwa and Te Moananui-a-Kiwa, and that connection has been encapsulated in the redevelopment.

“The building will also be in alignment with Tairawhiti's overall vision for the wider waterfront precinct and sporting hub development, including Kiwa Pools across the road.

“It is sad to see the iconic current building go. There have been so many wonderful memories made here for so many people over the decades.

“However, the building is deteriorating with structural erosion to the point where it was becoming unsafe and a hazard for members and community users,” Mrs Roberts said.

“This new facility will enable us to continue to service the community as a surf rescue base and community hub now and far into the future.”

The site blessing was postponed due to the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown.

It will happen once demolition has been completed.

The surf club will operate from temporary premises just along the beachfront over this summer.

NEW BEGINNINGS: Contractors have made rapid progress in the demolition of the old Midway Surf Life Saving Club building, paving the way for a new multimillion-dollar Midway Surf Rescue Community Hub, which will have Dawson Building Midway SLSC 'at the very heart of it'. Pictures by Liam Clayton

  1. G R Webb says:

    Will the design allow an extension of the walkway/cycleway to pass on the beach side?

    1. Anna Roberts says:

      The Midway Surf Rescue Community Trust has been in discussions with GDC regarding connecting the walkway/cycleway. GDC has agreed to extend the walkway/cycleway path to reach the building. In the redevelopment landscaping masterplan there is also scope to have an E-bike charging station. At this stage as far as we are aware GDC has no plans to extend the walkway past the building beach side. Currently the walkway/cycleway continues across the road (pool side) down to Pipe and then continues from there.

      1. Gordon Webb says:

        Can a plan or map of the proposed route be published? An attachment in a recent GDC report illustrates the route through part of the existing Olympic Pools complex and across Stanley Road but there is no explanation of how the cycle way reaches the new surf club building. Nor do we know where the cycle way crosses Centennial Marine Drive to get to a position where it can cross Stanley Road. It seems self evident that this proposed zig zag route, with 3 road crossings, can only bring its users into a series of unnecessary connections with vehicular traffic. This is particularly so with traffic to and from the pool and the activities taking place at or around the surf club – think restaurant, kiosk and a 150 person community room.
        To not continue the Oneroa cycle/walkway through the dunes and on the beach side of the new surf club building seems odd and an unnecessary risk creation.

  2. NRG says:

    I remember measuring the deflection in the floor, with Alan Hasildean, back in the 70s.
    The trusses under the dance floor were bending and the paint cracking off.
    The general conclusion was that Bonie M was to blame with their song “By the rivers of Babylon”
    Ha ha ha. But it stopped the cabarets.