Books On Sale To Repair The Historic Ōtaki Rotunda

Friends of the Ōtaki Rotunda are stepping up work to save the historic Rotunda on the site of Aotearoa’s first permanent health camp.

Ōtaki children’s health camp showing one of the unique rotundas

The Friends will hold a book sale on 14 August in the Ōtaki Memorial Hall from 10am until 3pm to raise funds needed to finish repairs to the Rotunda roof.

The first in NZ

It was in 1931 at Ōtaki Beach that the first permanent site for a health camp was established.

Now closed, the grounds and buildings are under DOC management until their future has been decided. 

The Trust was formed to preserve and restore the hexagonal rotunda, which is remembered by many as a place where children slept in the dormitory of the health camp.

Just over $2,000 is needed to repair the roof and the windows of the ‘lantern’ which sits on top of the roof. Once the lantern windows are repaired  sunlight will once more flood the centre of the building. 

Heritage Category One

Protected from demolition, but not from deterioration, by its status as a Heritage NZ Category One building, the Rotunda is a striking structure. The interior, with its seamless blend of form and function, displays a stunning clarity and harmony. 
Friends of the Ōtaki Rotunda began work after a public meeting in Otaki on 27 February, with Di Buchan as Chair and Jock Phillips as her deputy.

Its goal is to preserve the Rotunda for public use. Since Heritage NZ now recognises the total site and all the buildings as an Historic Place, the Trust looks forward to close cooperation with them.

(The Friends of the Ōtaki Rotunda is a registered charitable trust, number CC56810).

In addition to books and CDs on sale, there will be raffles — also a cafe so that people can have a cuppa and something to eat in between selecting books. The subjects cover a huge range of topics — history, novels, DIY, poetry, art, gardening, cookery and the world of horses.  

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