TSB Gives Gazebos to Three Surf Life Saving Clubs in Need

Friday, 22 April 2022

While keeping our beaches safe some Surf Life Saving Clubs have to operate under challenging circumstances, without fully functioning clubhouses or patrol facilities. Storm damage, coastal erosion and financial circumstances are all factors that can impact the state of club property. A recent competition run by Surf Life Saving New Zealand partner, TSB, came to the assistance of clubs in need of somewhere to run their life-saving operations. 

TSB’s generous offer of free gazebos to use in place of a clubhouse, or to complement the club’s current set-up, drummed up many entries from clubs keen to win. The three deserving clubs drawn were Raglan Surf Life Saving Club, Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards, and Buller Surf Rescue. Each will receive a gazebo to aid their operations for Winter training and patrolling next Summer. 

Raglan SLSC provides lifesaving services to the popular Waikato surf beach. This Summer, Raglan lifeguards came to the aid of over 16,500 beachgoers, carrying out 69 rescues and numerous searches, first aid treatments and preventative actions. However, since last year the club has been keeping beachgoers safe without the use of their patrol tower, which was no longer unusable due to severe coastal erosion. A temporary cabin was leased to provide an on-beach patrolling station and the club also used a gazebo from Junior Surf Programme to offer additional patrol surveillance.  

While a permanent replacement for the patrol tower is underway the TSB gazebo will help the club continue to patrol the busy beach. John Thomas, the Raglan SLSC Club Administrator says, “Plans are afoot to develop a permanent Patrol Surveillance HQ at the Clubhouse and plans are being worked on for the purchase of mobile lifeguard towers for the beach.” 

Coastal erosion affecting the Raglan SLSC Patrol Tower

Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards is a community based, volunteer lifesaving club that has been providing an essential lifesaving service for over 100 years. Over this time, it is estimated that the efforts of the club have saved well over 1000 people from life-threatening situations. Although their clubroom was recently relegated to demolition status the club was not deterred and has carried out full patrols all season to keep their community and beach safe. 

Matt Warren, a Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards member explains their need, “Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards could really use any shelter possible. We currently have no clubhouse and are working out of borrowed portacoms and containers.” 

The club plans to use the TSB gazebo to run their nippers programme, helping build the next generation of Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards while they fundraise for a new clubhouse. 

Shipping container used for Paekākāriki lifeguard patrol observation

The final club to receive a TSB gazebo is Buller Surf Rescue which provides beach education, summer beach patrols, event water safety services and acts as a Search & Rescue squad for the Buller region. Alex Menzies, the Buller Surf Rescue Club Secretary reveals that their “clubhouse is currently a garage located in town and lifeguards only have the use of a van for shelter at the beach whilst on patrol.”  

Garage used as Buller Surf Rescue's Clubhouse 

Joe Bishop, TSB GM Product and Marketing says, “TSB is delighted to support Raglan Surf Life Saving Club, Paekākāriki Surf Lifeguards, and Buller Surf Rescue by gifting them each a gazebo. We’re committed to helping New Zealand’s surf lifeguards carry out their important role of keeping people safe at our beaches and are hugely impressed at how these clubs have been able to do this even without fully functioning clubhouses or patrol towers. We hope the gazebos will help them continue their stellar work.”