There’s nothing quite like the sand between your toes, the sun on your back and the surf beneath your feet. We are lucky that, here in the Western Bay, we have pristine beaches like Mount Maunganui to enjoy our summer days out on the water or relaxing by the shore.
And looking out for our safety, while we enjoy our beach days, is the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service.
The Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service has protected the local beaches and Mauao for more than 90 years; patrolling the stretch of coast from Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach to Tay St. The lifeguards on duty keep our community safe by providing first aid and emergency response support from Labour Weekend to Easter every year.
Based at the foot of Mauao, it is one of the busiest surf lifesaving clubs in the country and the facilities and the expertise of the members are often called upon to support a much broader range of incidents year-round; from falls and medical events, to search and rescue and fire response.
A World-class Club
Such a vital life-saving service in our community deserves world-class facilities - a club building that is durable, self-sufficient and up to standard. The former building, built in the 1970s, was fast approaching the end of its usable lifespan. As the local population sky-rocketed, the club became a mishmash of renovations and expansions, resulting in leaky rooms, a first aid room that was far from discreet for patients and a floor plan that provided limited space for lifeguards, families and police during emergency searches.
While plans were made to upgrade the original building, further inspection soon showed the clubhouse foundations would not support the planned renovations without major remedial work. Engineers recommend the foundations be replaced, turning the renovation into a rebuild. This provided the opportunity to go back and revise plans to improve all areas of the club facilities.
The new building now features a contemporary, fit-for-purpose design that is much more durable and better equipped to handle an emergency response. It features improved accommodation, spaces to host multiple community groups, a first aid and operations room, improved storage for emergency vehicles and boats and a dedicated space for major search and rescue operations. The club now provides quicker turnarounds of rescue operations and greater visibility of the beach while also accommodating a wide range of community needs.
TECT Funding for New Facility
TECT was delighted to help the club build its new facility with a grant of $400,000 initially approved for the upgrade and a further grant of $300,000 getting them over the line for the rebuild – making it the largest single funder of the $3 million project.
Sarah Lewis, Chief Executive of Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, said TECT’s grant was pivotal to completing the building.
“TECT’s contribution to this project was hugely significant—we couldn’t have done it without them,” Sarah explained. “With their backing and the support of many other funders and generous people in our community, we now have a landmark building everyone in our community can be proud of.”
TECT Chairperson Bill Holland said with Tauranga’s growing population, it was crucial that the facility be rebuilt to meet the demands of our community.
“The space is fit for purpose, ensuring the club’s services are as effective and efficient as possible; which we all know is vitally important when it comes to emergency response. We’re confident that the new facility will allow the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service to keep doing their lifesaving work for many years to come.”
To learn more about the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, visit https://mountlifeguards.co.nz.