You are currently viewing Team work makes the dream work in Turua
The Turua Hall Domain and Community committee is sinking its teeth into its latest project. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

Team work makes the dream work in Turua

The Turua Hall Domain and Community committee are a formidable team.
Over the years, they have not only taken care of the hall off Hauraki Rd and the recreation reserve nearby, they have also been involved in community initiatives and town improvement projects.
In fact, the group has been dubbed “world famous in Turua” – and they’re only just getting started.
Made up of Dave Greenslade, Susan Taipari, Marina and Brian Wigmore, Jim Sutherland, Roger Brocklehurst, Paul Clayton, Cynthia Bates, and Stacey Frow, the incorporated society is taking things a step further and has plans to upgrade and modernise the 1955 building.
“It’ll give the hall about another 50 years of life,” Dave told The Profile. “That’s our big project. But before we can do that, we have to rehouse our library.”
The Turua library occupies a room within the hall but its current state is less than ideal, with a roof that often leaks, and a mouldy, unsuitable space.
The group will re-house the library into a portacom that has been acquired from the Barnardos Early Learning Centre in town.
The new building will be “dry, have air-conditioning, plenty of natural light, and plenty of parking,” Dave said. Resource and building consents and geotech reports are ongoing.

Following this project, the Turua team wants to redevelop the toilets to incorporate a unisex facility with a shower and changing area.
They’ll then upgrade the supper room and kitchen, create a covered area for parking, insert ranch sliders and a porch facing out onto Matai St, and replace the stage and install acoustic curtains.
The cost estimate for the entire project is between $1.3m to $1.5m.
Hauraki District Council’s parks and reserves manager Paul Matthews told The Profile he’d never met another group like the Turua Hall committee.
“They get their teeth into something and are now moving on to the next big project,” he said. “A lot of groups come and go but these guys are still here, and they were the first community group I made contact with back when I started in this role in 2016. I think the seeds that were sown in those early days are really bearing fruit now.”
The hall itself has a rich history.
In September, 1926, to cater to the growing community, a public hall was erected on the corner of Hauraki Rd and Matai St in Turua. However, nine years later, the building was destroyed by fire.
Various representatives of the town board and other organisations from around the district banded together and organised a carnival fair in Victoria Park, Thames, and with the money raised, a new hall was opened on August 10, 1935.
After the addition of a kitchen, supper room, library and meeting room were completed, the building was reopened as the Turua War Memorial Hall in 1955.
It is now used by clubs and groups including ballet, indoor bowls, Zumba, patchwork, table tennis, music practice, youth waka ama, and the Sunday market.
Birthdays, concerts, funerals, farewells, fundraisers and special events are also held at the hall, making it the busiest hall in the Hauraki district.
When asked what lights a fire underneath them, the committee told The Profile that it was about honouring the legacies left behind by people such as the late Hugh Fisher – affectionately known as “the Mayor of Turua” – and leaving something “better than they found it”.
“I do what I do for the future of my children and their children,” Susan said. “I do it because I want the Matai floor in the hall to still be there when they want to have their 21sts. I do it for history, and for the future.”
DETAILS: The committee’s next fundraiser will be a comedy night on Saturday, July 29. Doors open 7pm. Tickets $25pp with money raised going towards the hall upgrade. Contact Marina 07 867 5193.