Community Hall

How long has there been a hall in Tiniroto and what did it used to look like?

We wanted to find out about the Community Hall where we hold our end of year Assembly and Prize giving, perform plays, have dances, workshops and so on.

We discovered that in 1987, the Cook County Council entered into a lease agreement with the Tiniroto Settlers Association Incorporated for the lease of the Tiniroto Recreation Reserve. The Tiniroto Settlers Association Incorporated changed their name to become the Tiniroto Community Association Incorporated in October 1989. In 1997, the Council’s Community Development Committee approved a request from the Tiniroto Community Association to relocate the Ruakaka Road Community Hall to the Tiniroto Reserve. This looked like a big job and the hall was moved to the spot where it stands today and joined with the building that was already there.

Mr Kent shared some stories with us

“It wasn’t actually built as a hall to begin with, it was actually built as a shed to store wool in the early 1920’s when there was a big fall in the price of wool. It was only worth a threepence for a pound of wool. So Ruakaka Station bought their wool out and stacked it up in the shed. Then when prices improved they sold it. When it wasn’t being used for wool, they decided to have a couple of dances and from then on it was referred to as the Tiniroto Hall. There was no lining – it was just a shed. From then on it was used for dances. There was a stage for plays, and the children from the school went up to it too. But it was mainly used for dances. There was no power and the lighting was from carbite (which is a bit like gas lighting). While we were dancing, one of us hard cases, would slip out the back to the shed and turn off the carbite, so there would be no light. Everyone would stop dancing and we would’ve slipped back inside by the time they got the lights back on of course… the old fellas would be keeping an eye on us young guys after that.

In those days there used to be the three brothers in the Baty family who played in the main band for all of our dances. One played the piano, one played saxophone, and probably the guitar. The floor was sprung and everyone waltzed”.

Mr Cameron told us that when he first came to Tiniroto 32 years ago the Hall was still on the Ruakaka Road site and there used to be 'something happening' all the time. It was a social time with lots of dances and parties happening to celebrate 21st birthdays and so on. The teachers band was called the Blue Grass Band and the teacher from Te Reinga was the singer. It is a valuable asset to the community, without a hall it would make it a lot more difficult to have that identity. "My eldest son had his 21st which was the last do in the hall before it was moved - so it is a very special place for my family."

The Hall is still looked after by the Tiniroto Community Association today. It has recently had the ceiling lowered and renovations to make it warmer and nicer and so people will use it more often like they used to in the past. The Hall is really important for the community because it gives a place where everyone can come together and is the central point. The Tiniroto Play Group use the hall to hold their weekly get togethers, it is used by the school, meetings are held there, special events are celebrated and later this year there will be a Winter Ball to celebrate all of the recent upgrades and to raise funds for ongoing projects along with Tiniroto School.

The Tiniroto Community Hall as it stands in June 2010.