Tau­rima leaves role as head of arena

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

The Rec Cen­tre days were a sim­pler time for Wil­lie Tau­rima.

The recre­ation man­ager at Te Rau­paraha Arena in Porirua quit last month, af­ter be­ing with the cen­tre since it was erected in 2008.

He did not want to dis­cuss the rea­sons for his de­par­ture, but said he had likely been in the job ‘‘a cou­ple of years too long’’.

‘‘The part­ing with coun­cil was not ideal, but I had 11 years there, which was long enough,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ll miss the fan­tas­tic peo­ple I worked with and I love the place, but it was time to go. The way I look at it is if you stand still long enough, peo­ple will bump into you.’’

Tau­rima said be­ing in­volved with the de­sign and erec­tion of Te Rau­paraha Arena was some­thing he would al­ways be proud of

In say­ing that, the old Recre­ation Cen­tre had its ap­peal as well.

‘‘It was an old build­ing, but it was in­ti­mate and fa­mil­iar. My role way back was to set up some of the pro­grammes there, like uni­hoc [in­door hockey] and it was great fun.

‘‘We had kids sneak­ing in and par­ents would be lined up along the walls dur­ing the sport we played there. It was old school and while the arena is bril­liant, there is a cer­tain for­mal­ity now.’’

The $17.5 mil­lion arena had its knock­ers dur­ing the de­sign and public con­sultation process, but the city had a fa­cil­ity that was a draw­card and was now a boon for sport in Porirua.

A re­cent sur­vey put user sat­is­fac­tion at more than 90 per cent, Tau­rima said.

He would not miss work­ing un­der the pres­sure of coun­cil bud­gets.

‘‘You have com­mer­cial driv­ers here [at the arena], but in a coun­cil en­vi­ron­ment, us­ing ratepay­ers’ money. doesn’t fit.’’

Tau­rima, who was awarded a Porirua 50th medal last year as part of the city’s birth­day cel­e­bra­tions, will not be idle.

He is go­ing into a fam­ily busi­ness, which launches in Septem­ber, has a con­tract to de­liver sport through Whanau Ora in the re­gion, and will con­tinue his role as Mana Col­lege Board of Trustees chair­man.

Tau­rima worked for the coun­cil from 1994 to 2001 - he was ap­pointed head of recre­ation in 1996 - and then re­turned in 2004. It of­ten

Wil­lie Tau­rima re­signed last month af­ter his sec­ond stint with Porirua City Coun­cil.

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