Topics: 28th Māori Battalion, ANZAC

Rotorua RSA close their doors

By Rahia Timutimu
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Members of the Rotorua RSA will be ordering their final requests this evening, as the association closes its doors for the last time tonight.

Eleven people will lose their jobs and 1300 members will have to go elsewhere, after the RSA lost a significant amount of money over the past few years.

With only a few hours left in this building, Rotorua RSA members are enjoying their final moments at their regular club.

Te Kei Merito says, “It's a sombre kind of atmosphere here today even though the occasion is not a funeral, but I liken it to that famous proverb that says, as one chief dies, another rises to take his place.”

The Rotorua RSA has been in this building for 49 years, but like some other RSAs around the country, the branch has been losing money.

President of the Rotorua RSA, William McDonald says, “There’s so much history here.  Not a good feeling.”

In this case, the RSA was no longer sustainable and last month the building was put on the market with the intent to use profits to pay off a debt that has remained undisclosed.

The Rotorua branch was nearing its 100 years, and like many other RSA, it holds memorabilia dating back to 1960 and 1970.

The question now, what will happen to those items when the doors close?  Some of the memorabilia will go back to the families and others will go to the Rotorua Museum.

Trevor Maxwell, Rotorua District Councillor says this is a terrible loss for Rotorua.

Rotorua RSA are unsure who they will combine with at this moment, but are optimistic about the future.