Whangaruru Community Sports Hub nears completion

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

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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!

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Photography courtesy of Samzsz Sun

Memories of Oakura

by Eamon Parkes

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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

Oakura Bay Fire First Response – Update

REMINDER: In the event of FIRE call 111 FIRST.

THEN:  Call one of your local Oakura Fire First Response team. Please remember we are all volunteers, not always available and you may need to call more than one number.

The earlier we are asked for help, the better opportunity we have to contain a fire.  An example of this was the bush fire on the Oakura Hill behind the Reserve during the drought. This potentially dangerous fire was extinguished by the Fire First Response group during the hour that it took the Fire Brigade to arrive.

We will not be able to cope with a fully engulfed house fire, except perhaps to try and protect nearby property. We will keep out of the way of Fire Service vehicles and personnel when they arrive.

To reiterate, we are a group of local volunteers providing a fire first response. We are not a fire brigade. In the event of a fire, call 111 FIRE and then call the first response numbers which you should have readily accessible. Be aware that you may need to ring more than one number to make contact.

In the recent floods, the fire first response team spent a number of days pumping water out of houses along the waterfront. Appreciation for the effort and time put in by our members was shown by a number of our community making very generous donations to the Fire First Response fund. A sincere thank you from us to those people – you know who you are!

The Fire First Response group is open to people who are willing to become competent with the equipment or who are willing to assist with committee administration work. We already have people who have expressed interest, and we will be organising a training session in the near future.

Fire First Response Team

Oakura Bay Medical First Response Team – Volunteers Needed

The Oakura Bay Medical First Response team was set up over eight years ago. Fundraising events were held, and charities approached and we purchased two defibrillators and set up the Medical Rooms next to the hall with stretchers, St Johns medical packs and other equipment. Since then there has been a small number of people, who have done the St Johns First Aid course, who have been happy to have their phone numbers listed as first responders.

However we now need more volunteers to go on that list. Over the years the Medical Committee have run free and subsidised St Johns courses for those interested, and at some stage in the near future another partly subsidised course will be organised.

It should be noted that the First Response team is only for medical emergencies, to be there as support while ambulance/helicopter assistance arrives. It is not set up to handle grazes and minor injuries.

First responders should have done at least the St Johns First Aid Level One course before volunteering to go on the First Response List.

If anyone is interested they can contact our Civil Defence person, Jim Lynch, email address

Oakura Bay Fire First Response – First Callout

The recently formed Oakura Bay Fire First Response team had their first “callout” on Sunday afternoon, 26th January 2020.

The fire team successfully extinguished a bush fire on the hill between the Hall and Waimarie Avenue. Neighbours heard a loud bang and saw smoke high above the area. It was from a large firework and the falling debris ignited the bush, which was of course tinder dry.

Fortunately a nearby householder saw smoke from the fire and used a garden hose and carried buckets of water to contain the situation. The Oakura Fire First Response team were notified and 111 fire calls were made.

The First Response team had the fire completely extinguished when the Hikurangi Fire Brigade arrived approximately one hour later. A serious fire was definitely averted as the dry conditions would have enabled a serious fire to develop right in the Oakura Bay heartland.

The Oakura Bay Fire First Response group deserve our hearty congratulations!

Deb Glasgow – as published in the March 2020 Whangaruru Pothole Newsletter.

Whangaruru Coastguard – Saving Lives at Sea

The Whangaruru Coastguard has a big year lined up for their crew and volunteers with the announcement that they will be receiving one of the AC36 Protector RHIB America’s Cup chase boats at the end of the America’s Cup regatta. The new 9m RHIB will be fully refitted post the regatta, with members of the unit involved in the refit design. The new boat will replace the existing 6.8m Naiad (RV Tangaroa). The extra size of the new boat will be a great boost for the unit as it will increase the ability to do larger tows, handle heavier weather conditions and increase the range.

To read more about the America’s Cub regatta chase boats, click here.

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The Whangaruru Coastguard’s training regime is progressing well with six operational crew and one trainee. The big push for this year will be to progress senior operational crew through to skipper.

Whangaruru Coastguard are seeking dry crew for their administration team, including the roles of secretary and treasurer, as well as committee and fundraising positions. The Whangaruru Coastguard Incorporated Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for 6pm, Sunday, 22nd March 2020 to be held at the Whangaruru Coastguard Shed, Wharf Road. Nominations can be made to one week prior to the AGM. Following the AGM, there will be a shared meal.

A warm welcome to attend is extended to all volunteers, members and the wider community of Whangaruru.

Kit Bigelow, Acting President – as published in the March 2020 Whangaruru Pothole Newsletter

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For more information on the Whangaruru Coastguard, click here and here. To follow them on Facebook, click here.

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