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The Whakatane Lions Club’s Te Urewera Education Centre, popularly known as the
“Lions Hut” was opened on 26 June 1966 and an incorporated society was formed in 1967.
 The society is in the hands of a general committee made up of 5 members of the Lions
Club of Whakatane and 5 members of the public with the President of the
Lions Club holding the casting vote.  

The purposes outlined in the constitution are; 
a) To establish and maintain the Education Centre with appropriate
       building/or buildings in or near the bush of Te Urewera National Park.

b) Through the use of the Education Centre to provide healthy recreation for those
      who are interested and especially for young people and to afford them the
      opportunity to learn all aspects of bush craft, map and compass readings, 
      safe use of firearms, natural history, cultural appreciation
 and environmental education.

c) To promote general public appreciation of the Te Urewera National Park.

 The Education Centre is sited on land inside the Te Urewera National Park held
 under occupation licence granted by The Department of Conservation for 20 years.

The Lions Hut now, after recent extension, has a total floor area of 3117 square feet and
 can accommodate 40 people at any one time. As well as groups from schools it is used
 by other groups such as NZ Mountain Safety, NZ Search and Rescue, Scouts, Church
 groups and other youth clubs. It has an occupation rate of approximately 4000 bed
 nights which indicates its popularity. The Society is very aware of costs to young
 people and keeps the charges very affordable.

The large extension and upgrading of the facilities was completed in 2002 included the addition of a class room and teachers' room.  The Lottery Grants Board gave a grant, with the balance of funds being raised from the community and with most of the labour input being voluntarily supplied by Whakatane Lions, other Lions of the district and members of the community. Since then further up grading has been completed with the installation of a solar power system giving electric lighting to supplant the candles and lanterns which were a serious fire safety hazard. Extensions of the water supply and reticulation and improvements to the showers and toilets have been completed this year. 

The Lodge has received many favourable comments from the public and occupants
as a very important contribution to the district and is a quiet but active reminder to
every one of the ability of our service club.

Copyright © 2009 Lions Hut Te Urewera National Park. All rights reserved.