Wairoa a money winner

 Wairoa has been a big winner this month with the Eastern and Central Community Trust, which has provided significant funding for two projects getting underway in the town. The determination and drive of Hinemihi Marae trustees and whanau is paying off, with the Community Trust announcing a $44,000 donation towards the marae kitchen and dining room building project. “We nearly cried when we learned that we were being given the donation because, along with the money that we've fundraised, we now have enough to apply to the Lotteries Board for the remainder,” says trustee and secretary Michelle McIlroy. That funding application will be filed shortly and hopefully building approval will be given by the end of the year. It is a $450,000 project to provide a kitchen and 60-seater dining room, with association facilities.

 Hinemihi Marae, at the end of Ruataniwha Road, was established around 1900 but struggled to survive as older custodians died and families left the Wairoa district. There has been no kitchen and dining facilities for 60 years, with marquees and tents being hired for tangi and other major functions, which Michelle McIlroy says do not meet expected hospitality standards. “We've got a lot of committed people and have been fundraising for many years. We have at least 200 names on our hapu register but that doesn't include other extended family. There are probably around 1,000 descendants affiliated to Hinemihi,” she says. An ablution block and sewerage system are already in place, a children's playground is being developed following the donation of equipment and the trustees have long-term plans for kaumatua flats. The Community Trust money will primarily be used for the kitchen fit-out once the building is completed.

 A $35,000 from the Community Trust has been made to the Wairoa RSA towards its Salute Wairoa project to research and record stories about Wairoa pioneers who went to World War 1. It is a joint project between the RSA, Clydebank Hisotrical Trust and the Wairoa District Heritage Museum Trust. The Community Trust donation will help pay for the multi-media touch table, which is latest technology resembling a giant iPad about the size of a table tennis table. Photographs and other visual material, films, letters, telegrams, cards and momentoes, along personal war stories will be incorporated into the digital display.

Ross Shield planning intensifies

 It is likely to cost more than $50,000 to run this year's Ross Shield rugby tournament in Wairoa, with serious fundraising already in full swing. A $4,000 donation from the Eastern and Central Community Trust has been received by the Wairoa Ross Shield team in charge of organising the tournament for Hawke's Bay intermediate school boys from 30 September to 4 October. The prestigious tournament attracts teams representing Wairoa, Dannevirke, Central Hawke's Bay, Hastings East, Hastings West and Napier. It is held in Wairoa every six years. Organisers are confident that the tournament will help showcase Wairoa in a positive light and is working hard to meet its fundraising target.

 Another sports organisation, Wairoa's Tapuae Multi-Sport, has received Community Trust money that enables it to install a security and fire alarm system. Without the equipment, Tapuae cannot get insurance cover and its members say that it is a struggle to fundraise enough to meet operational and maintenance costs each year, let alone additional equipment like a monitored alarm.

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