Key Points:

    Pahoia community urged to step up to support Apata Hall Society.

The Apata Hall Society is appealing to the community for help with running the Pahoia Community Hall and have called a public meeting next Thursday, September 3 to discuss its future.

The Apata Hall Society and Pahoia School are jointly responsible for the ongoing care and management of the Pahoia Community Hall and Apata Room.

The new facility opened in 2011 to replace the original Apata Hall, built in the 1940s and destroyed by arson in 2004.

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The society has had a number of committee members, who in years gone by have had ties to the school, step down from their roles.

Current chairwoman Kirsten Warbrooke has wanted to step down since 2018 and her children left Pahoia School in 2015.

"We need people in the community or parents to come on the committee, otherwise it will fold and the hall will likely be given to Pahoia School."

Members on the Apata Hall Society committee are treasurer Patrice Ordish-Benner, Liz Bourke and Michele Smith with Pahoia School representatives, principal Sheena Saunders and Juanita Meder.

Kirsten says the school is proactive with hall bookings, with a percentage going towards its upkeep, and a percentage to the school.

Kirsten has sought help from Blaise Williams at Western Bay of Plenty District Council who arranged a meeting with the school principal.

Notices have been placed in the school newsletter and nobody has volunteered.

Kirsten has spoken to Jacqui Knight from Katch Katikati, who manages bookings for the Katikati Memorial Hall, about what they do. Jacqui will chair next Thursday's public meeting.

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Karen Clement, Apata Hall Society chairwoman at the time the Pahoia Community Hall was built, said, "the hall will be a place to remember and honour the spirit and generosity of those who gave so much to build and breathe life into the original Apata Hall, and a place to come together to grow and strengthen community ties and give our young people a sense of belonging to a community that cares."

The charred remains of the Apata Hall after it was burnt to the ground in 2004.
The charred remains of the Apata Hall after it was burnt to the ground in 2004.

The Advertiser reported in 2007 how many people with long term ties to the area felt strongly about rebuilding the Apata Hall on the original site, near the corner of State Highway 2 and Wainui South Rd, but a strong push later came from Pahoia School, which needed a hall-type structure and had a guaranteed source of funding from the Education Ministry.

It took three years of debate before the community agreed to rebuild its hall at the school. Memorabilia would be on permanent display to honour the original Apata Hall.

The Pahoia Hall features a sprung floor making it ideal for sports, with social netball being played on Monday nights and gymnastics on Tuesdays at 4pm.

The school has exclusive day-time use of the hall and the Apata Room is available for hire for community groups. The hall is available for hire after school hours.

Ideally volunteers will have an association with Pahoia School or live in the area.

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Being on the committee is not onerous, volunteers will need to attend a monthly meeting, have some contact with the school and in cooperation with the school, ensure the hall is maintained for its users.

To find out more contact Kirsten Warbrooke on 022 535 1530.