Veros is excited to hear the announcement that another 6 shovel-ready Surf Life Saving infrastructure projects in Tauranga, Coromandel and Port Waikato have secured central government funding. This funding will replace funds that were unable to be raised due to Covid-19 restrictions and the loss of traditional funding and fundraising opportunities.
“This is a significant investment which will create jobs while building infrastructure in several coastal communities, which will, in turn, have lasting benefits to those local communities and for all people that use those beaches,” said Poto Williams, the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.
These 6 projects are in addition to another 4 surf lifesaving infrastructure projects that have secured funding in Gisborne and Christchurch.
Surf Life Saving has serviced the New Zealand public for 109 years, preventing drowning and injury, saving lives and protecting our communities. Surf Life Saving facilities are at the heart of many communities, from North Cape to Bluff, there are 74 clubs, with around 17,000 people as members.
The organisation supports and facilitates the safe public use of New Zealand’s most used outdoor recreational venues – our iconic beaches. In the last 10 years alone, they have performed over 11,000 rescues, over 5,000 assists and over 900,000 preventative actions to help keep us safe throughout the country. Millions of New Zealanders benefit from their presence each year, as part of the lifesaving services provided by volunteer surf lifesaving clubs.
SLS clubhouses and facilities were built decades ago by volunteers using donated materials, well before current building codes and earthquake standards. They have served well but being on the front line of our harsh coastal weather has taken its toll. As a result, there has been a backlog of projects, all seeking funding assistance. This is an opportunity to unclog that backlog and also rescue several projects already underway that now have their funding threatened by the impact of Covid-19. The organisation’s infrastructure is critical to their work – protecting the community in the water.
The team at Veros are proud to have been involved in the preparation of applications to Crown Infrastructure Partners Fund and Infrastructure Reference Group on behalf of Surf Life Saving New Zealand. The applications included a package of 19 community infrastructure projects across New Zealand, that are either already under construction but not fully funded, or could commence construction within 6 months with top-up funding. The package represented a request for $26.7m of funding, with a total investment value of $53.7m.
“Our team recognise and value the work Surf Life Saving New Zealand and its member clubs do in keeping our communities safe in the water,” said Development Manager Scott Bicknell, who has been working with the organisation. “We are passionate about surf life saving and are grateful to be given the opportunity to support the organisation’s infrastructure projects with our property, advisory, strategy, and delivery experience. Property is our business and we approach every project knowing that it shapes the places we work, live and play.”
Bicknell said “In the face of the ongoing global impacts of Covid-19, our economy and the tourism sector will be very different in the short to medium term. We are expecting that Kiwis will be flocking to our beaches this and next summer. Having fit for purpose facilities at surf clubs that support the training of new lifeguards, improve water response times, and enable lifeguards to do their jobs effectively in keeping our communities safe at the beach are critical. This funding boost will make a significant difference in improving the safety of our coastal communities across New Zealand.”
Although unsuccessful through the CIP application process, we are heartened to see that 10 of these projects have been supported through other central government agencies. We are proud to be part of this process, making projects real and partnering with an organisation that positively contributes to the social wellbeing of the community, including both domestic and international visitors.