Newspaper Article 1976 – Keirunga’s workshop opens this Saturday

Keirunga’s workshop opens this Saturday

The Keirunga Gardens Society’s $24,500 workshop will be officially opened on Saturday – marking the end of five years of planning and fundraising.

The opening will be in conjunction with the society’s annual open weekend when the art and craft groups display and sell their work.

The chairman of the Central Regional Arts Council, Miss Joan Kerr, Wellington, will declare the building open at 3pm.

Other guests will include the Mayor of Havelock North, Mr Jeff Whittaker, and Mrs Whittaker, borough councillors and the Member of Parliament for Hastings, Mr Robert Fenton, and Mrs Fenton.


The opening will be a gala day with white elephant, cake, produce, garden and plant stalls set up, as well as art and craft displays. The secretary of the society, Mr R. Milne-Allan, described completion of the workshop as a “great milestone” in the history of Keirunga.

Fundraising began five years ago when increasing membership in the affiliated groups began to cram the space available in the Keirunga homestead.

The finance was raised by a combined effort of the groups and by a number of grants.


An appeal launched among the society’s membership raised $1500 and proceeds from the society’s annual open weekends totalled $9000.

The building fund was boosted by a $1000 gift from the late Mr Ernest Vogtherr, Havelock North; the Eastern and Central Savings Bank has given a grant for the past three years; the Havelock Borough Council gave a grant of $5000 and the Ministry of Recreation and Sport gave a grant of $4000.

Construction of the building was delayed by a legal formality in letting the contract in November, 1974. The builders were further delayed by wet weather and sub-contractors’ delays.


Mr Milne-Allan said the society’s 600 members have good reason to feel pleased with the new workshop. He hoped that during the next few years the $7000 mortgage on the building would be easily paid by the present and future membership.

“The 1250 sq ft all-purpose building will fill a need which has become more and more pressing. In some cases members attending popular craft sessions have been uncomfortably crowded in the homestead.

“The groups are pleased at the prospect of being able [able] to accept further members in the future.”

“However, the potters will still work on a waiting list,” Mr Milne-Allan said.


Special materials have been used in the construction of the building to complement the style of the old homestead built in 1906.

The interior has exposed wooden beams and the same style has been followed on the exterior construction within the limits of modern materials.

The architect has also used a special lining in the building to aid acoustics.


A small craft shop has been provided at one end of the building with permanent window space for display.

“The building will be a workshop, it is not proposed to turn it into a museum or art gallery” Mr Milne-Allan said.

Groups who will use the workshop immediately will be the rock and mineral club, the film society, the floral art group and the artists group. The drama group will use the building for rehearsals.

The canecraft, spinning, weaving, pottery groups and garden circle will use the building occasionally for displays, sale-days, tutorials and demonstrations.

At present the society is seeking gifts of furniture for the building.

“It is not proposed to furnish the building like a lounge, the building is essentially a place for the groups to work,” Mr Milne-Allan said.

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Keirunga Gardens Society

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Newspaper article

Date published

21 April 1976


The Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


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