Updated – see end of post. A short update on the public meeting in Kilbirnie regarding the fate of the Maranui Surf Life Saving Club. It was a packed meeting – almost to the rafters – and there was no doubt where the crowd’s allegiances lay.
While Council officers and others bravely presented information and requested that now was a good time to sit back and have a good think about the options for the future, the vast mass of the crowd was having nothing to do with it. (Read our previous post for more discussion on this subject). Council’s architects had drawn up a sparse and poorly thought out list of 4 scenarios, which broadly speaking were:
Scenario 1 – Keep all 4 buildings
Scenario 2 – Keep 3 of the 4 buildings
Scenario 3 – Keep just 2 buildings
Scenario 4 – Take all the buildings down and start again – perhaps build nothing.

Probably needless to say, the sum result of that was that all 4 scenarios went down like a cup of cold sick in a burnt out shed on a cold wind-swept beachfront. A member of the crowd put the feeling into words and started the ball that we should vote for a Fifth Scenario. An immediate show of hands confirmed overwhelming support for this proposal, which was, as another crowd member succinctly put it into words: “The 5th Scenario is that we just want Maranui rebuilt, so why are we debating all this other shit?”

Scenario 5 – Rebuild Maranui, get the Club and the Cafe running again (“by Christmas!” said one voice) and leave the other buildings there until there is time and place to have a proper debate about them.

I love people power.

So: will the Council get the message? Certainly, to me and the rest of the meeting, the message was loud and clear. “The Council has a legal, moral, and spiritual obligation to rebuild the clubhouse of Maranui”, and if they chose to self insure and were stuck with a massive $500k excess, that was just tough luck. Council need to pay up, and fast.

Although that’s not really the only option. I can’t believe that the cost is really $750k to rebuild, and I think Council is having the wool pulled over their eyes, or perhaps they had included a few extras (like, apparently, some working taps and basins in the WCs would not go amiss). But a community effort on the rebuilding (there were a few builders there, watching on) and community labour would certainly get the building back on track. And yes, it could be done by Christmas.

As the great goddess of running shoes once said: “Just Do It”.

Perhaps, provocatively, Lyall Ball SLC need to base their proposed new building on a more successful model.
What is better than one beach side cafe? Two beach side cafes!