Puhoi fire campaign rekindled

Puhoi fire campaign rekindled

The Puhoi Fire Station project has been revived after hitting a funding road block.
The Puhoi Rural Fire Force is trying revive its fundraising campaign for a new station after getting stranded at the halfway mark.

Foundation work on the Ahuroa Road station started last year after the brigade raised $350,000, but it still needs $300,000 to complete the building and fit-out.

Fire chief Russell Green says the brigade applied to Foundation North, formerly the ASB Community Trust, for funding, but the application was turned down as the building couldn’t be used as a community facility.

The restrictions were a condition of the resource consent, after neighbours raised concerns about noise from the site.

“It has to be used as a fire station only,” Russell says. “It can’t be used for any community meetings or any other functions for the station members, which is disappointing.

“We had hoped that ASB would be a cornerstone funder of the project.”

The station is trying to re-negotiate the consent conditions, as the neighbours who objected have since left the area.
Fundraising for the fire station was the topic of a community workshop in Puhoi on Sunday, July 10.

“We’ve got some new ideas to fundraise through a Give-a-little page, but the main thing was getting the community behind us. They showed they support the project and see it as an important part of the community.”

The brigade has 12 members and has been based at Russell’s business, Puhoi River Motors, for the past eight years.

The plan is to form an incorporated society and boost membership.

The Rodney Local Board has agreed to extend the brigade’s lease on the site at 52 Ahuroa Road, near the Puhoi Tearooms. The brigade had a two-year lease for construction, but it expired in May. It now has a new two-year lease and once the station is built, it will get a 10-year community lease with a 10-year right of renewal.

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