A key moment for Tuakau
 It was a momentous day for Tuakau last Thursday. The township received its first visit from the Prime Minister John Key when he officially opened the highly anticipated Emergency Services Centre.

Volunteers have invested much blood, sweat and tears into this community project which was several years in the making. The new centre will serve as an overnight accommodation base and training area for St John Ambulance and first aid teams.

 Four years ago, three local identities Gary McGuire, Vern Reeve and Richard Gee, spearheaded the project. They approached Waikato District Council about a premise located on George Street which were set to be torn down. After consultation with the Council, the site and building was donated to the Tuakau Emergency Services Centre Trust. The building, which has undergone many hours of volunteer labour, has been adopted by local businesses and charity organisations who have contributed time and money to help get it to where it stands today.
 “communities are only as strong as the people in them and the organisations there to support it. This is a great example of it here today. Together they’re more powerful than when separated.” John Key, Prime Minister 
They have completely renovated the interior of the house and creating a space in the garage to house the town’s St John first response vehicle.
Trust Chairman, Shane Groom, said the project was an example of the true community spirit in Tuakau. “We are very proud and privileged to be here today. It has been a true community undertaking with so many people and businesses having donated time products and services. Waikato District Council have been open with us and so helpful; they recognise the passion you, the people, have for this place,” he said.
After being welcomed onto the premises, Prime Minister, John Key, was able to officially open the new centre by unveiling the plaque to a great public turnout and many local dignitaries, including Waikato District Mayor, Allan Sanson, who has personally contributed to the cause.
Mr Key stated, “communities are only as strong as the people in them and the organisations there to support it. This is a great example of it here today. Together they’re more powerful than when separated. Future proofing a facility like this centre is great. St John’s and a range of other services really can leverage off one another,” said Mr Key. “Thank you, the volunteers, the businesses, and the local organisations for your generosity and confidence to make that happen. This has obviously been a dream for Tuakau, and while the centre is currently at stage one, I am looking forward to seeing what will happen nxt.”
St John Franklin Territory Manager, Lisa Buckingham, said, “it was nice to see volunteering is alive and well in Tuakau. As that is the hardest thing for most groups.”
Lisa welcomed the new centre, saying that each year, there is a five percent increase in the workload in the Franklin area. “This means it’s getting harder to reach our sickest patients. Well done to everyone who has made it possible, and we are looking forward to utilising the new centre.”
New  Zealand Community Trust  granted  $12,000 to help complete the centre, and funds have also been raised via local Rotary Charity dinners and public donations. So far, $28,000 has been spent renovating the building, and a further $15,000 was invested to equip the first response vehicle with life-saving equipment. Fundriaisng ventures will continued to be held to contribute towards ongoing maintenance and future development.
Tuakau Rotary President, Davendra Kumar, said they were now looking forward to getting the facilities staffed and fully operational. “The dream has now become a reality, and were are looking forward to progressing to the next stage in the near future,” he said.

It was a momentous day for Tuakau last Thursday. The township received its first visit from the Prime Minister John Key when he officially opened the highly anticipated Emergency Services Centre.

Posted by The Post Newspaper on Saturday, October 22, 2016