The Kaikohe RSA is hoping to be able to lease back part of the sprawling complex for a members' bar when its land and buildings are sold at auction next month.

The old soldiers' club closed down on June 30, a victim of falling membership and soaring costs, particularly rates, insurance and maintenance.

The complex — which includes two buildings totalling 1280sq m and just under 1.5ha of commercially-zoned land on upper Broadway — was also far bigger than the organisation required.

It is due to be sold at auction on November 1 at the Harcourts Kerikeri office.


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Former Kaikohe RSA vice-president Geoff Smith said potential buyers were in discussions with the real estate agent, but he did not know who they were or what plans they had for the site.

''There's been a bit of interest, so we're hoping for a positive result.''

The organisation was also hoping that whoever bought the property would agree to lease the members' bar area back to the RSA.

If that didn't work out the RSA would look for smaller premises elsewhere in Kaikohe, Smith said.

Meanwhile, former Kaikohe artist Chris Wilkie has expressed concern about the fate of a series of murals he painted and donated to the Kaikohe RSA.

The striking murals, which depict New Zealand soldiers and nurses in action in various conflicts around the globe, adorn the wall around the garden bar.

Detail of a mural painted by Northland artist Chris Wilkie and donated to the Kaikohe RSA. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Detail of a mural painted by Northland artist Chris Wilkie and donated to the Kaikohe RSA. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Wilkie's worries about what might happen to the paintings have been heightened by the disappearance of several murals he created with Northland College students in the walkway to Marino Place.


Smith said the murals would stay where they are if the RSA was able to lease back the bar.

Otherwise he was hoping for a 90-day settlement period with the new owner to give members time to work out what to do with the large amount of military memorabilia, photos and honours boards in the bar, as well as the big guns and murals outside.

''People are working on that behind the scenes. As far as we're concerned the murals are part of the RSA badge and signage. So much love and support has gone into the building it would be a travesty if they were to disappear.''