Community Project Roofing Industries and PCC

It is well known that New Zealanders give generously to worthy causes, although they often don’t talk about the near $3 billion a year they give to trusts, foundations and charities. Then there are the smaller, locally-promoted fund-raising efforts in communities around the country. When the need arises, Kiwis rally to support local causes - a great example of this generosity took place in the Taranaki settlement of Tarata, 18km inland from Inglewood.

A rural community of just 70 families, the residents of Tarata have demonstrated on many occasions their willingness to raise money for local causes – the latest being the need to re-roof the hall which had been leaking for over 20 years. 
The hall was built in 1904; the tender accepted was for 159 pounds and ten shillings, later revised to 172 pounds. The timber was milled locally (red pine with matai flooring, totara piles and heart rimu in the roof structure. The hall opened in 1905 but since then extensions have been added in 1980, 1983 and 1986.

The hall is at the heart of the community and is the chosen venue for pot luck dinners, family celebrations, winter exercise groups, women’s institute meetings and flower shows. However ever since the early 1980s the hall has suffered from leaks related to an extension performed by locals.  

Two years ago, a dedicated committee swung into action, their efforts so impressing NZMRM members, Pacific Coilcoaters and Roofing Industries, that an approach for assistance could not be ignored. 
With $25k in the kitty, which included a grant of $4,000 from New Plymouth District Council’s rural hall fund, the target for the likely cost of the re-roof of $60k still seemed a way off. Following a car rally this year, some discussions took place around how to achieve the re-roof and committee member Shelly Worthington contacted some rollformers. At some point the request filtered down to Steve Haines at PCC and then to Paul Ross at Roofing Industries who were “completely impressed” by the way this small, rural community had worked so hard to raise the dollars needed. 

While continuously being approached to donate product from a variety of sources, both PCC and Roofing Industries judged the efforts of this small community to be exceptional. To this end, PCC donated coil and Roofing Industries Central Ltd rollformed the New Denim Blue Zinacore .55 BMT True Oak Corrugate product for the roof, colour matched to the material used on the church roof.  

Farnsworth Roofing, the chosen roofing contractor for the reroof, also stepped up and discounted their contribution. 
Seventy families live in Tarata, and over time and with persistence they have actively raised funds to restore and reroof the local church - completed in 2015 - before turning their efforts to raise money for the badly leaking hall. Events have ranged from an adventure race and a horse trek to selling ice blocks to 800 car enthusiasts during an American classic car event in February 2019. Perhaps their hardest endeavour was picking and selling over 2.6 tonnes of feijoas – picking every two days for six weeks. The committee even managed to sell off some old roofing iron.

Hospitality Tarata style
As only a rural community could demonstrate, the entire Tarata community attended an evening to celebrate the new roof with official ceremonies and tables laded with homemade food from all members of the community for the MRM member companies involved in the re-roof along with installers Farnsworth Roofing (Darin Voight and his staff). Local sheep farmer and agri-engineer Bryan Hocken, along with the North Taranaki District Mayor, Phillip Holdom and local National MP, Barbara Kuriger along with Steve Haines and Paul Ross made speeches, Steve speaking in particular of the emotional phone call received from Shelly at news of the material to be donated.  
In addition to the”main event” members of the team were extended excellent hospitality and  accommodation at the Croft owned by Paul and Julie Dravitzki. A beautifully restored,100 year plus,  homestead set in picturesque ,well maintained, gardens. The Dravitzkis proved to be excellent hosts providing a generous country style breakfast...a highly recommended destination for anyone wanting to get-away for a relaxing, peaceful break.

Local landmark
The Tarata Tunnel was a feature during this year’s American Classic Car rally when ice blocks were sold to 800 enthusiasts during the fund raising for the hall. The Tarata (Otaraoa Road) tunnel was dug in 1904, the same year as the hall was built, its purpose being for people to get to the valley from Waitara/North.  It is about 30 metres long. 

Another tunnel, the Graylings stock tunnel is near the top of the Tarata Saddle and this section of road was known as the ZigZag in the old days. Mr WG Grayling owned both sides of the sharp ridge near the top of the saddle and to get his cows back to the day paddocks he dug the stock tunnel through the ridge.  He brought the cows back through the tunnel for milking. 

A walk is being planned by the Endless Step Club in February 2020 to mark their 20th anniversary. Older members plus some newer ones will be walking eleven traffic tunnels and eight stock tunnels throughout Taranaki and walking between each one, a journey expected to take three weeks. 
Also happening in 2020 is the Tarata Valley Trek – two nights, 1.5 days of trekking – walking, horse riding or mountain biking - with all food provided and a live band on the Saturday night. For more information go to: