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Cure Boating Club almost cured

An exciting events venue – rising from the ashes of the decimated Cure Boating Club’s earthquake ruins – is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The iconic club, which has been situated along the banks of the Kaiapoi River since its 1868 inception, is easily found opposite Kaiapoi’s River Queen paddle steamer, and the Port & Eagle Brewpub. 

Breeding ground for Olympians

As the fourth oldest rowing club in New Zealand, the Cure club carries the distinction of being the breeding ground for a number of New Zealand representatives, including former Olympian Alex Kennedy. It has amassed more than 50 national titles along the way, and all of its coaches remain unpaid, including its head coach of more than 35 years – Armin Svoboda.

The 2011 earthquake destroyed everything except an addition which was added in approximately 1993. The club has now poured $1.1 million into its dynamic two-storey re-build, which will be 10m bigger than its former footprint. 

View too good to ignore

President Paul Curgenven says the view was too good to ignore when they contemplated their future. So, they approved the 400 square metre facility with glass-clad views across the river, and up to the bridge.

“Our club is an institution around Kaiapoi,” Paul said. “And, where we’re situated inside the stop banks of the river is unparalleled in Canterbury. 

“There are not many places where you can go and enjoy these views of the river so close to the water from a rowing club. It’s just stunning. 

“That’s why we’re doing the two stories, because it does justice to the site. And, we wanted to make a proper functional facility upstairs available for the community as well.”

Completion near the end of the year

Paul said works were expected to be completed by the end of December – at which point the Cure Club would be able to move from its temporary premises near the croquet club at the Union Rowing Club’s facility (which includes two 40-foot shipping containers).

“The foundations and piling in the new build is done, the floor is down and the steel works are up. It now gives us a real feel for the scale, because it’s bigger than what we had before. 

“And, I think when people see what we’ve done, we’ll get more community interest in the club as an events venue as well. It will have a big common space upstairs with stunning views, and it will be suitable for multiple uses.”

Community effort

The Cure Club put $410,000 of its own coffers into the re-build, and their efforts have since been supported by $490,000 from the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, with another $100,000 from the Waimakariri District Council. 

“We are probably still about $200,000 short. But the building will be finished downstairs, and structurally done upstairs when we move in,” Paul said. “There will perhaps be some fit-out and decking to complete, but we are well on our way to achieving the finished product.

“We’re one of the last parts of the re-build puzzle in Kaiapoi around the river, and we can’t wait to move back to our club’s home.”

What they are saying...