The rebuild of the Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards' new club rooms reached a new milestone last month after being granted a lease in principal from the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
"This is really big for us," said Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards chairman Matt Warren.
"This is close to 10 years of work to establish the right position and get all of the reports and detail for the lease.
"The biggest hold up has been getting the lease and now that we've got this it gives us sustainability around funding and moving forward with the build."
The current clubhouse has been battered by storms for the last 50 years with erosion taking out the boat ramp in 2019 and the earthquake risk growing too strong for the club to continue in the building for much longer.
Starting the process back in 2011 with a seismic assessment completed by Sawrey Consulting Engineers and updated in 2018, the main suggestion was that the club move out of the building within five years.
Now, the club has plans drawn up and been granted a 30-year lease for the new 554m² clubrooms which will sit behind the dunes, about 85m back from the beach.
The multi-purpose design will be a venue for the whole community to use alongside the patrol tower with ample space for the club to store IRBs and equipment.
The design also enables a group to be using the main area and be undisturbed when the surf club need to access their equipment and patrol tower in the event of an emergency.
With the lease in principal being granted, the club is now able to move forward with raising the remaining funds needed for the $4 million build.
Since sharing the building plans with the community last year, Matt said the progress over the last 12 months has been huge.
"We've had a team which has been working on the more detailed building design and resource consent applications which will be submitted in the next month or so.
"Once we've got those approved we will be able to build, hopefully by the end of the year.
"To make this happen we are in full-on planning mode with the engineering getting done over the next couple of months and a number of local businesses coming on board to help us with sponsorship or services."
The club has already raised $500,000 towards the build from fundraising, bequests and sponsorship agreements with local businesses and contractors.
"This has enabled us to do all the work to get everything ready and will probably be enough money to do some of the groundwork to start the build."
Without a lease the club has not been able to target the big funders, but Matt believes that now they have a lease, they can target funders such as the Lottery Grants Board and apply for funding from Surf Life Saving New Zealand's (SLSNZ) building fund.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand received government funding in the 2020 Budget with $2.75m per year dedicated to building costs which Paekākāriki are hoping to apply for.
"We're pretty near the top of the list with the condition our old clubrooms are in, but it's a contestable fund."
Club secretary Karen Simpson-Warren said, "Getting the lease is the big mountain we've had to climb, and now we're here it's the nitty-gritty stuff we have to sort out."
Still needing to raise a lot of money for the build, the club wants the community to know this facility is not just for them.
The multi-purpose facility will have spaces ideal for groups of all kinds to use with the design allowing for the space to be split up.
"We want it to be used when we're not using it, we want it to be a community facility used by lots of different groups.
"There's a sport component to us, but we also do a lot of education with schools and the community around water safety, what to do in a rip and all that kind of stuff.
"We do the summer patrols, but we are also the people who get called out after hours any time someone gets into trouble on the beach and are halfway out to Kāpiti Island.
"Everyone who gets involved will be part of the legacy, and everyone who comes on board will be helping create a building that will be around for a good part of 100 years.
"It won't just be the surf club using it - it will be a community facility available for the whole community."