The Oruru and Inland Valleys Association has elected a new committee for the coming year, even though its home, the Oruru Hall/Swamp Palace, wasn't available for the AGM.

The Far North District Council closed the hall for health and safety reasons in July, and according to chairman John Folkard does not intend to restore it to a useable state.

He, his committee — Kath Adams (deputy chair and treasurer), secretary Helen Holm, Adrienne Posinkovich, Tracey McClurg, Keith Russell, Lyn Reid and Dean Wright — and those who have fought for 13 years to save the hall have no intention of conceding defeat.

The turnout at the AGM, held at the Mangonui Hall, had been "fantastic," Mr Folkard said.


OIVA was grateful for the support and those who had become financial members of the organisation.

The hall's closure had generated much discussion about what the building meant to those who had supported it he said.

Despite frustration at the continual postponement of long overdue, and promised, maintenance and funds, the committee was ready to work with the council and community.

"The committee has worked with FNDC this whole time, and it seems that they are railroaded at every turn," Mr Folkard said.

"Just as they are reaching the light at the end of the tunnel, someone whacks another whole section of tunnel in there and the light becomes a dot in the distance yet again.

"It takes a lot to keep a committee focused when they are fobbed off continually for one reason or another. It's starting to look to the whole community now that there's an unspoken plan on the FNDC table of 'If it's got Oruru Hall on the application or on the top of the page, leave it long enough and they'll eventually go away'."

There had been no communication from the council for two months.

"It seems that the FNDC can close down a well-used hall, yet are not motivated to respond to important emails or advise who the committee should actually be talking to," he said.

"OIVA has made their convictions clear in person and by email, yet it seems council bureaucracy is trying to push them into the background yet again."

Te Hiku Community Board chair Adele Gardner told the committee before the AGM that she would be doing all she could to improve communication. Mr Folkard said the committee needed regular, clear communication with the council.

"We need to know how the land lies for Oruru Hall right now," he said.

"From what people had to say on Sunday the community is far from happy about the closure, and is serious about getting this rectified as soon as possible."

The next meeting is 4pm on Tuesday October 3, venue to be announced.