The Far North District Council will consider three options for the Kerikeri Makos Rugby League Club, which has been told that the Kerikeri Domain pavilion is unsafe and cannot be used. ('Rats scurrying,' but not fast enough — Harawira, March 5).

The Domain is the club's home ground, with home games scheduled for March 16 and 23.

FNDC infrastructure and asset manager Andy Finch said there were three options: for the club to use the Community Fitness gym, which was 180 metres from the Domain (not 800 metres, as claimed by Taitokerau Rugby League CEO Hone Harawira), which would otherwise be empty on Saturdays, to erect a portable building on the Domain, or to bring the pavilion's showers and changing rooms up to a safe and satisfactory standard.

The third option would depend upon a favourable report by structural engineers.


Mr Finch said the Community Fitness gym option would be the simplest and most cost-effective, but Mr Harawira rejected it earlier this week.

"In case you have never played sports before, you may not know that asking sporting teams and their visitors to walk 800m before, during, and after a game is nonsense. Rugby teams in Kerikeri don't have to put up with that kind of foolishness, and rugby league teams shouldn't have to either," he said in an email to Mr Finch.

"You might also want to know that trying to set up a MOU without the agreement of the partner in question (Kerikeri Makos) is a dumb idea ...

"The Makos applied for and got approval in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 to play at the Domain and use the changing rooms. You trying to rig them a deal without even asking them smacks of the arrogance of colonial thinkers from way back.

"I checked with them, and the Makos think walking across town with the visiting team in their dirty football gear is a really dopey idea (and I suspect having 40 dirty Māori and Pacific Islanders wandering through the main street of Kerikeri might not be what the genteel community of Kerikeri want either)."

Later he noted that a 2017 report from FNDC Infrastructure had stated that the reinstatement of the pavilion was feasible, because it would be fully covered by insurance, but the 2018 report, and another written in February, emphasised that conditions in the pavilion were insanitary, several years after the (June 2016) fire that damaged the building, during which time nothing had been done to repair it.

"Water damage, possible electrical malfunction and general decay are now given as reasons for issuing a non-compliance notice," Mr Harawira added.

"It would seem that with minimal refurbishment the changing rooms could easily accommodate the Makos' needs for the 2019 season. Indeed, there do not seem to be any structural safety reasons why this cannot happen.


"The money being touted on alternative spend, like (using the) Community Fitness gym, should go towards that refurbishment."