RSA clubrooms struggling to stay open

By Moana Makapelu Lee

Former Vietnam veteran, Kingi Taurua is urging more Māori to support their local RSA through donations to ensure the continuation of an important part of New Zealand history. This follows after the closure of Stratford and Taita RSA club rooms this year due to dwindling membership numbers and income loss.

Taurua is urging more Māori to support their local RSA through donations to ensure the continuation of an important part of New Zealand history. This follows after the closure of Stratford and Taita RSA club rooms this year due to dwindling membership numbers and income loss.

Auckland's Point Chevalier RSA club rooms was a bustle as families gathered to honour the fallen.

Taurua says, “Many have turned out today to commemorate ANZAC, a testament that the new generation have not forgotten those who fought and died overseas. It makes me heart glad to see how many people have joined in the commemorations.”

It's one of 179 RSA club rooms still standing in NZ. Dwindling membership over the years has forced club rooms across the country to shut down or amalgamate.

“Many RSA members now were born after the war, so they are volunteers supporting the RSA trying to keep doors open.”

New Zealand RSA CEO Jack Steer, “The RSA has been around for over 100 years now and it will change and adapt, but the real reason for the RSA, whether it's a club room or not is to provide support to our veterans and their families.”

The Returned Services Association was first established in 1916 by WW1 ANZACS to provide support and comfort for returned servicemen.

Taurua says, “Support for club rooms are dwindling, which is unfortunate as they helped fund and support our soldiers who fought.”

Although the future of RSA club rooms may be in doubt, Steer says the RSA will continue its service to remember and support servicemen.