JUNE 20, 2019
After six years of planning, Ngati Porou East Coast (NPEC) rugby union Chief Executive Cushla Tangaere-Manuel says it’s well overdue for her team to have an office that reflects the value of work done off-field for rugby in the region.
“The old office was an old Presbyterian Church and while it had 'good bones', it was clad with corrugated iron - freezing in winter and scorching in summer. We had to boil water to wash dishes and cook on a portable element - it was like camping!” she said.
With a team of three full-time staff – and another part-time position soon to be added – NPEC facilitates the needs of 700 registered players, nine clubs, seven representative teams, and all the high schools in the area.
The new office building is a great example of lots of people getting involved to volunteer time or materials to help make a big project happen.
The new office was built labour free by EIT apprentices last year, and a new fence was built by NPEC player Jack Richardson and his crew at JR Construction. Mitre 10 Trade Gisborne donated around $20,000 of materials for a new kitchenette, deck and concrete pathway installed over Queen’s Birthday weekend, with Mitre 10 builder Stan Scott project managing the work.
Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union's old office
Local builder and NPEC team manager Lorne Goldsmith also volunteered his team from Launch Construction for two full days to help build the deck and pathway. An awesome team effort!
The Mitre 10 Gisborne store is still under construction and the team are currently operating from a temporary location. But that didn’t stop owner operator Geoff Taylor putting his hand up to help after a trip to meet Cushla in Ruatoria.
“Rugby keeps the East Coast community connected. To travel up and see the old building that they’d been working in for so many years, we knew straight away we could help – rugby is valued highly here and NPEC should have an office building to match,” says Taylor.
With the new kitchenette, deck and concrete path completed, there will only be two things for NPEC to tick off the list: new furniture and an official opening event, which will be very well-attended if local games are anything to go by.