Little ones and their parents were celebrating on Wednesday (October 23) as Rawene Playcentre held its grand reopening.

Gloria-Lee Owen, 3, with mother Karee Owen, cuts the ribbon.

Nana Bev Wallace, mum Haley Fife and Phoenix Dick, 2, cut the cake.


The centre had been closed in 2017 after the building was deemed unsafe.

A $100,000 grant from the Ministry of Education and $10,000 from Playcentre Aotearoa funded the refurbishment of the playcentre.

Playcentre Federation centre support co-ordinator Keri Squires said after extensive work, the Rawene centre was the first to open since the national amalgamation of the Playcentre Federation.

“The work has been worth it. As you can see we now have a beautiful playcentre and hopefully we will go back to the old days of the 70s and Rawene Playcentre will once again be full, as we all know that playcentre is the best place for our tamariki.”

Wild weather broke just in time as kaumatua Hone Taimona blessed the building and grounds. 

Three generations of Hokianga family and playcentre members, Bev Wallace, 54, Haley Fife, 26, and Phoenix Dick, 2, cut the cake and attendees enjoyed a celebratory shared lunch.

Rawene Playcentre member and mother-of-two Karee Owen said the playcentre offered a valuable resource.

“We’re so thrilled to have this fantastic facility available for our tamariki and hope to have many whanau come and play.

 “The kids love it here and as a mum I really value the community that we can build through playcentre. We get great support and training to help our kids learn and thrive.”

Rawene Playcentre is open Wednesday and Friday, 10am-2pm.

About 50 people attended the grand reopening, including neighbouring Hokianga playcentres and pupils from Rawene School.