Big TECT cheque for Mount Lifeguard base

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TECT chief executive Wayne Werder (left) and Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service general manager Glenn Bradley with TECT’s $400,000 contribution to the club’s building fund. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Plans for a new base for Mount Maunganui lifeguards have been given a massive boost, thanks to a $400,000 grant from the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT).
The contribution – TECT’s largest of the last funding round – will help kick-start major renovations to the dilapidated Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service building on the Mount’s Main Beach.
“The club has been an integral part of the community for many years – however, like many clubs, the facilities have grown tired over time and are no longer fit for purpose,” TECT general manager Wayne Werder said.  “This is their big chance to do it once and do it right for the future and we’re hoping TECT’s contribution will be the catalyst for getting things moving.”
The club provides lifeguarding services throughout summer, not only to a 6km stretch of coastline but also on and around Mauao and in Pilot Bay. Last season alone, lifeguards performed 109 rescues, 115 first-aid call-outs and were involved in 44 searches, with volunteers contributing more than 5000 hours to the club.
But the current building, last renovated more than 25 years ago, is in need of upgrading.  Tauranga City Council has already agreed to help fund urgent work on the unsafe lifeguard tower and upgrade the emergency/first aid room but club chairman Paul Treanor explains they want to take things further.
“The club has served the Mount Maunganui community for 85 years and it has managed that by adapting and remaining relevant throughout that time,” Treanor said.  “It’s time for us to adapt again, to create a multi-purpose lifeguarding, sporting and community hub that fits in to our unique location.”
Treanor added the search for Jack Dixon, washed off rocks near the Mauao base track last year, highlighted the need for an operations base, able to handle large-scale emergency responses with the likes of Police and Search and Rescue.
Tauranga’s population boom also meant there were far more people using the beaches and on Mauao, with lifeguard numbers increasing as a result.  They needed more space for training and performing core lifeguarding roles, while a community function centre generates cash-flow to fund services and maintainence.
Werder added it was unusual for a club to get such a large contribution from TECT but the unique nature of surf lifesaving had been taken into account.
“The TECT Trustees considered the club to be more than just a sporting club and took into account the value to the community it serves and the members who so freely dedicate their time, as volunteers in their own right, as lifeguards,” he said.
The club has already established a project control group for the build and appointed a professional project management and design team, using BECA and First Principles.
The project has an estimated cost of $2.01 million, with Treanor hoping work will start before the 2016-17 season.

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