Rising costs to rebuild the ageing Pāpāmoa Surf Club base have left the club $700,000 short of its $5.2 million budget.

Pāpāmoa Surf Life Saving Club president Andrew Hitchfield said the club had raised a generous $4.4m but was still about $700,000 shy of pushing go on the project.

Works to rebuild the rapidly deteriorating clubhouse were expected to start next month.

But despite already scaling back the project to its "bare bones" the club still had a major shortfall in funding, Hitchfield said.

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"We are absolutely desperate to go forward. But we do not want to leave a legacy of debt."

The 1990 building was originally built for 100 members, but the club now has more than 800 on its books.

Hitchfield said the main beams of the club were starting to rot and there had been "a few leaks", which club members with plumbing and building skills had helped to maintain.

"We have used our own resources to fix as we go," he said.

There was also not enough space to store their equipment, which was currently squeezed into a couple of cargo containers.

The new build would triple the size of the current building and would run along the sand dunes, and create more storage for the club.

Hitchfield said the club would not start the rebuild until it had the full amount of funding.

They were confident negotiations with potential funders could help to get them over the line. However, those discussions were still up in the air, he said.

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If successful, the club would start the rebuild project next month and ideally have the new clubhouse completed by November.

It was likely the club would have to operate out of temporary accommodation during patrol season during the construction period, he said.

It was challenging to meet operational costs as well as try to generate revenue to support its new club build.

"The reality is, it costs a few hundred thousand each year to keep the club running."

That cost covers wages, club maintenance, and keeping equipment up to date, which included IRBs and vehicles with a price tag of about $30,000.

"We need at least two of them and they last about three or four years," he said.

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Hitchfield said the $4.4m had come from an original cornerstone fund of about $1m from Tauranga City Council, two TECT grants worth $900,000 and the NZ Lotteries and Lion Foundation, as well as other businesses.

Funding had also come from the club's charity rebuild project.

In December 2018, a 383sq m section at Lot 303 Te Wharo Dr was donated by Terrace Views to help raise the money needed to fund the $5m rebuild and GJ Gardner offered to build the 182sq m house.

Bay of Plenty Regional councillor and Papamoa Community Surf Rescue Base Trust patron said it was critical the rebuild takes place this year otherwise costs would balloon further.

"It is really critical as the building is well past its use by date," he said.

Crosby said he hoped individuals, groups and other businesses would come forward to help give the project the final nudge it needed.

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Papamoa Surf Club patrol captain Shaun Smith, who has been with the club for 23 years, said he was frustrated that building material costs had gone up.

"It's no one's fault as increased material costs are being felt across the whole construction industry but as a charitable organisation like others we rely on donations.

"It feels like we're putting out the begging bowl but we need help to get this project across the line."

To donate, search Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club on the Givealittle website.

- Additional reporting Sandra Conchie