Midway Surf Lifesaving Club

With funding and management support from Kānoa, a new state of the art facility has transformed Midway beach waterfront.

A new two storey building, coloured grey and black. A blue sky above and tall pine trees stand either side of it

Midway Surf Lifesaving Club

The Midway Surf Rescue Community Trust (The Trust) received a $7.87 million grant from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to build a new surf rescue community hub. The hub is designed to enable delivery of lifeguarding services along the stretch of Midway beach to the river mouth of the Waipaoa river, and to offer other community facilities to the broader public.

COVID-19 recovery funding


The hub includes a lifeguarding tower with 180-degree sea views to keep the swimming public safe, along with a new state-of-the-art gear shed, new offices for coaching and administration staff, a members lounge, and clubrooms.

Not only does the new facility aid lifeguards to do their jobs properly, it also provides space for the broader community to enjoy, including a restaurant, kiosk and community hire hall for collaboration of events.

The Kiosk, on the ground floor, will provide convenient and nutritious grab-and-go offerings. While the new restaurant, Tahu, located on the first level, will focus on a sit down offering that is dedicated to supporting local produce from the region wherever possible.

The hub is also home to Gisborne Boardriders Club (GBC), which had previously been operating from a shipping container located on Midway beachfront.


The hub is one of the most technical projects built in Gisborne recently, and it enabled employment of approximately 121 people, of which 91% were local. Approximately 87% of the 31 businesses contracted to carry out the works were also local.

Working with the local mana whenua, Ngāi Tāwhiri, the hub features a number of Māori design elements. Te Anaaroha, a special mauri stone, was gifted to Midway Surf Club by Ngāi Tāwhiri and is held by a carved figure representing Hineha Kirirangi, the woman who named the beach Oneroa around 1200 AD. This beautiful carving holding the mauri stone graces the main entranceway to the new complex.

Looking through glass inside a new building with wooden panels on the walls, wooden stairs and a Māori carving

The entrance and carving in the hub, gifted to Midway Surf Lifesaving Club by Ngāi Tāwhiri

The hub is regarded as "an absolute gem for Gisborne" and The Trust has achieved their goal in creating a new, vibrant, innovative community facility that will benefit the entire Tairāwhiti community for years to come. It is a shining example of how the COVID-19 recovery funding created sustainable and inclusive infrastructure.

Find out more about other surf lifesaving clubs.