The best way to discover what accommodation is tops is to ask a group of fishermen, tired from a day on the sea and a big night after.

John Best, from Havelock North, Donald Hunter, Pine Reedy and Eric Douglas, all from Porangahau, and Ben Allen, of Waipukurau, are fans of the Akitio Community Centre for a good night's sleep when they take part in Fish Akitio.

"It's unbelievable," Mr Allen said.

And Mr Hunter said he couldn't get anything better, especially after four hours at sea where he reeled in a large groper and a 8.2kg trumpeter on day one of the fishing competition.


Mr Best was enthusiastic about the accommodation.

"It's beautiful, really magic," he said.

The praise is music to the ears of Donna De'admin, who is passionate about the centre and what it has to offer.

"We're getting good bookings and they're building," she said.

But Donna and husband Murray had known it was time to replace the old timber bunks that lined the four accommodation rooms and to add new carpet.

"We had concrete floors previously," Murray said.

"To refurbish these four rooms cost $19,900 and our hall committee decided to put in $5000 and we asked the Affinity Foundation for help. They gave us $14,000.

"But what made the job happen was the way retailer Big Save came up with an incredible price for us.

"Without Affinity and Big Save we couldn't have done this.

"The beds are top quality and the only commercial bunks of their type in New Zealand and the mattresses are first class."

Not only did Big Save give the Akitio hall committee a great price, they made two deliveries, free of charge.

"Without them and their generosity I don't know what we would have done," Murray said.

For Donna, the upgrades to the accommodation, which included new showers and a new roof, along with a fully equipped commercial kitchen, meant the hall and its accommodation was set for the future.

"I'm chuffed," she said. "I hope the bookings roll in."

Murray, fire chief for the Akitio Volunteer Fire Brigade, said the work had been done "for the community".

"We enjoy doing this work and with the committee behind us, it's great."