Tahunanui Playgroup supervisor Cushla Vass, front left, is with community centre manager Judy Robinson and some of the current playgroup families at the Muritai St site. Judy holds a photo of the initial mothers’ group at the St Stephens hall in 1980. Photo: Kate Russell.

Tahunanui Playgroup celebrates 30 years


In December 1987 an old darts hall on Muritai Street was transformed into a thriving community playgroup.

Now 30 years on, the Tahunanui Playgroup is set to celebrate three fun-filled decades at the site and is calling on the local community to help them “piece together” its history for a reunion at the end of the month.

Playgroup supervisor Cushla Vass says the roots of the playgroup go back even further to 1978 when a mothers’ group was established at the St Stephens hall and then in 1984 as a crèche at one the Braemar villas donated by the Nelson Hospital Board.

Once they had moved to the Muritai St site, it quickly expanded into an early childhood centre as well as the Tahunanui Community Centre which moved into the next door building in 2016.

“Staff have been looking back through old albums of photos and hope that anyone who attended, either as a parent or a child, will get in touch to share their photos and stories,” says Cushla.

“We know some of the faces, but there are a few blanks we’d like to fill. There will be so many stories out there in the community and we’d love people to contact us with their old photos and tales.”

Cushla says the playgroup has adapted with the times, and provides more than just fun and games for babies through to pre-schoolers.

It now operates as a playgroup on Mondays and as a preschool from Tuesday – Friday.

The playgroup reunion is an 80s themed party and will be held on Friday 27 October at the Tahunanui Community Centre from 6pm.

Tickets are $25 from the centre and include a meal, with a cash bar. Over 18s only.

If you have photos or stories to share, contact Cushla on 548 6036 or email [email protected]