Three of them headed over to the nearest loos within the complex, at the Kereru Sport and Cultural Centre. However, they were turned away by the receptionist, and told they had to use the public loos, somewhere quite far away in the park.
Now, aside from making us even later to start to play, and aside from the (unfortunate) risks of sending young children to public toilets in parks, I was a bit intrigued by the lack of access to community assets.
So I went to my mega grants database to see who they received funding from, and the Societies website, to check out their financials. Christchurch City Council is one of their funders. For those who have not looked, the CCC has some great comments on organisations within their funding applications. Check out page 28 of the Community Board agenda.
What is interesting here: the note to councillors states that the building is leased from CCC. So – the building itself is a rate payer asset. The group does pay rent, presumably to the Council: in 2015 based on financials that was $4,300, which seems fairly peppercorn. The other interesting thing is that the tennis club is not a part of the Kereru group. I see from the tennis club accounts that they do own their own building (which in fact was not open when we were there) but lease the land from CCC for around $1k per annum, again fairly low. Neither of the teams playing were from Spreydon, but this seems to happen a bit, and does make sense to best leverage community assets. And not that its relevant to what I am writing about, but there is almost $250k sitting in Kereru's accounts as a term deposit.
I guess the Kereru Sport and Cultural Centre do need to clean the loos, and quite possibly they do get sick of children playing tennis traipsing in and expecting to use those toilets. It’s interesting to consider however, that the venue was open itself, presumably for the bar which generated almost $30k in sales for them in 2015. But this action was slightly off the staff assessment statement from the funding application which stated “The Club is family oriented and aims to keep fees as low as possible enabling low income and single parent families to use its services.”
For a family oriented club, it’s a bit galling to turn away kids from using the Council owned loos in favour of those at the bar. From a “getting kids moving” point of view, the sport they play really is quite irrelevant: if Kereru were living their vision on family orientation, then perhaps they would not be so hard nosed about this.
It’s quite interesting to contemplate, don’t you think? The role of rate payer assets under management by community organisations? The bar verses the sports element of such asset ownership and leasing? Would love to talk with you if you think this is vaguely interesting.