Month: June 2022

Whangaruru Community Sports Hub nears completion

by Hamish Haika, Deputy Chair, Whangaruru Coastal Community Group – published in the Pothole, March 2022 edition

There has been great progress made on our Whangaruru Community Sports Hub in Oakura over the last few months, despite the impacts of Covid. It’s been a long journey, but we hope to be done in a few weeks and have a place all in Whangaruru can be proud of. The community has willingly given their time and we are very grateful. From the rugby boys cleaning and painting to Craig and the NUD team donating machinery and their time to help with the power connection, to Dave and Pete on the brushes, our kuia/kaumatua support and many more. Even the smallest of tasks has made a difference.

As a community, we are gearing up for the start of winter sports and we are very strong in many codes, both seniors and juniors, including rugby, netball and basketball. Our Rugby Club has not been able to play home games during the build and like many sports, has had to meet the demands of Covid. It will be great to soon play at home at this new multi-code facility. This year, our rugby juniors will play an in-house competition and there are four Whangaruru teams already with the possibility of more to join. They will be our senior curtain raisers and we invite you all to come along and support them. As we complete this building and look forward to a wide range of events being held here, we are already well into planning for the next stage which includes an additional rugby field and hard courts. We want to ensure the current and future generations of Whangaruru will enjoy and benefit from our efforts and the aspirations of the community.

Update: Although the community sports hub building was not completed in time and therefore is yet to officially open, the first home game of the season was able to be played on 21 May 2022 on home ground. Whangaruru RFC won their game against Marist 31-19. Congratulations!

Photography courtesy of Samzsz Sun

Memories of Oakura

by Eamon Parkes

I remember coming to Oakura Bay when I was a kid. Mum (Kate Parkes) would always bring us up here from Whangarei and we would spend our time with my Uncle Lance Kelly. Uncle Lance was the Principal of Ngaiotonga Valley School before it was closed down. I have memories of going to the school with him, I think about 1992. Not sure exactly. My Aunty Barb (Barbara Kelly) also worked at the school. 

Every year during the Christmas break, we kids would have free range of the bay, going out on my Uncle’s sail yacht, going to the the local dairy to get lollies. 

Another memory I have of Oakura, was going to the fishing competitions they held before it was moved to Ruakaka. From what I can remember, my Uncle did the organising of that or helped out with it. I remember the massive Lion Red can that was blown up and put up at the main stage. Mum used to work in the local dairy for her time that she was in the bay with us kids. Another memory I have is of going to the rock pool, or the mermaid pool, not sure what people call it now. It was at the back beach, us kids were very rarely allowed to go to the back beach due to my Uncle not been able to see us from his house up on the hill. 

One day I would love to take my son up there from Nelson and give him the same experience as I had when I was a kid. 

Photographer: Unknown

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