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A big boost of $150,000 from a New Zealand Community Trust grant is still not enough for Whiti te Rā to complete its clubrooms.

The Ōtaki league club needs another $60,000 – and it’s putting the word out to seek donations from supporters.

“We’re ploughing ahead with the work, but we need to be proactive in raising the shortfall funds to finish the job,” says club co-chairperson Kelly-Anne Ngatai.

“It would be a tragedy if we had to stop work when it’s so close to completion. As a club, we need to ensure this doesn’t happen. The money we’ve got will see about two-thirds of the work done.”

Whiti has already raised nearly $6000. It is looking for the rest through $100 donations, which will put the donor on a sponsor plaque in the clubroom, and regular small donations through weekly or monthly automatic payments from a donor’s bank account.

“We’re looking at anything that will bring in some funds,” Kelly-Anne says.

Meantime, work is continuing inside the clubrooms, where there will be a large meeting room, a kitchen, bar and toilets. A wheelchair ramp, deck and furnishings will be needed once the main work is done – hence the extra funding required.

The work could be completed within four months if the money is found – just in time for the grand final of the club season.

Whiti te Rā's senior team has an enviable record, winning six premiership league titles in a row, three each in the Wellington and Manawatū competitions.

Staying true to its strong connections with the community, as much work and materials as possible is sourced from local firms.

Murray (Muzza) Ropata of M & H Builders is the project manager, All Area Scaffolding is supplying the scaffolding, and Muzza uses his local sub-contractors for work such as plumbing, electrical, plastering and painting.

The project is 19 years in the making. When the club was formed, there was only an ablution block on the site. A second floor was put over it, but there has never been the money to compete the work. Visiting teams have had to be hosted under marquees outside.

Kelly-Anne says Whiti applied for the full amount from NZCT, and although the club didn’t get it all, it is nonetheless appreciative of the funding.

“It was fantastic, a big boost,” she says. “The trust came and had a look at what we wanted to do, and we talked about the achievements of the club on the sports field. It comes easily to passionately talk about our club, and I think that made a difference. We also talked about how we work with the community and how we have so many youngsters in the club. I’m sure that made a difference when it came to getting the funding.”

The rooms will be used for club activities, but will also be available to other groups, such as waka ama, and even for learning, such as te reo classes.

  Anyone wishing to donate can make a deposit to: Whiti the Rā Building, ANZ Waikanae,
06 0592 00526734 004.

Funds still needed to finish Whiti job


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