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Our regular coffee mornings & public meetings

These regular coffee mornings are a great way for new and intending members to come and get a feel for things and meet other members


Whakatane coffee mornings

Whakatane coffee mornings are held at 10.30am – 12 noon every Monday (except for public holidays) at the Knox Presbyterian Church, 83 Domain Road, Whakatane
We often have a guest speaker at Whakatane coffee morning.


Edgecumbe coffee mornings & guest speaker

Edgecumbe coffee mornings & guest speakers are held every 3rd Tuesday of the month at the St David’s Church Hall, 51 Collage Road, Edgecumbe
10:30am (guest speaker begins at 11am) – 12 noon


Taneatua coffee mornings

Taneatua / Ruatoki members  meet throughout the year.

These meetings are held at various locations in Taneatua, often at Moumou Kai Cafe.

Thursday games afternoons

We have a small group of members who meet for games afternoons every Thursday


Whakatane public meetings with guest speakers

We invite guest speakers or organisations to come along and speak at a public meeting.

These meetings  from

10:30 am-12 noon at the Knox Presbyterian Church, 83 Domain Road, Whakatane

Guest speakers are usually someone our members have requested or of relevance to current affairs at the time

Some examples of past public meetings:

- Work & Income

- The Mayor of Whakatane

- Meet the candidates standing for public office

- Advanced Care Planning

- Manaaki Ora / Elder Abuse

- Te Puna Ora o Mataatua advice regarding the COVID vaccine

-Alzheimers Educaton

-Legal Advisors from Baywide Law



Shared meals

Once every  month or so we share a meal together at a local restaurant or cafe.
This gives members the opportunity to mingle with members from other areas.


Digital buddies

There are so many benefits of knowing the basics and being digitally connected.
While most elders are interested to learn the basics of smartphones, laptops and other contemporary devices, they are rarely encouraged and supported by the younger members in the family due to busy lifestyles.
We find members who are confident in digital literacy and they become digital buddies to others.

Other programmes & outings

These are programmes and outings we run regularly throughout the year

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Oranga Kai/Just Cook programme in partnership with the NZ Nutrition Foundation

JUST COOK Healthy Ageing is our 4-week programme aimed at building cooking skills, confidence and motivation to cook, nutrition knowledge and addressing social isolation among older people.


Learn to plan and cook simple healthy meals for 1 or 2 people plus shopping tips, label reading and time-saving strategies. Ideal for those lacking practical cooking skills or who need a boost of confidence to cook for themselves.

The fun and social classes are three hours long and held over four weeks. Includes morning tea and lunch!

These are held twice a year in the Eastern Bay of Plenty

Contact us for more details


Day trips

Occasionally we will catch the Bayhopper or use the community  van to take a short trip out of town or to the beach.


Visiting local gardens and parks

In summer when the weather is warm we enjoy visiting local gardens and picnicking in parks

 Programmes run by our members

These programmes are run by members with the support of Virtual Eastern Bay Villages.
If you have a skill you would like to share with others please let us know.
We are always looking to expand in this area


Ukulele Group

Members of Virutal Eastern Bay Villages come together  to play the ukulele 

Beginners are welcome

There is a small starting fee to cover the cost of your resources and you will need your own instrument.


 Walking Groups

The Walkie Talkies, a small group of Virtual Eastern Bay Villages members led by Ilene Burt meet every Wednesday at 9:30am at the carpark behind The Warehouse (weather permitting) to go for a walk.

This is suitable for all fitness levels as there are seats along the way if you need to stop for a rest.

The Knox Ramblers led by Vonnie Schofiels meet at the rear of the Knox Carpark every Monday (weather permitting) at 9am

For more information call call us on 020 4161 5887

Our newly formed Men's Group

A group of our men got together and decided that coffee morning wasnt really their cup of tea and that they would like to do some "bloke" stuff so every so often they go off and do things that men enjoy doing.

Virtual Eastern Bay Villages  Sub Committees

These are initiatives that began under the umbrella  Virtual Eastern Bay Villages / Te Kokoru Manaakitanga and are now run independently by  sub committees


Whanau led funerals/tangihanga

There are three reasons:

1. Rising costs:

The cost of traditional funeral services has risen over the past few years and for some people they are unaffordable.  Families incur debt that can take years to pay off and this causes stress.

The two local funeral directors provide excellent traditional services for people who can afford them. They try to keep costs down but their high business overheads (premises, full time staff) do not enable low cost solutions.

2. Changing practices:

We are at the beginning of a renaissance of traditional community practices in caring for and honouring those who have died. Māori are weaving whāriki to wrap tūpāpaku , the Whakatāne Menzshed make coffins.  Whānau are asking to be involved in laying out their loved one, which can support them at a time of grief.  

 3. Eco-friendly funerals

We now have Moemai Cooling Pads that go under a coffin and mean that embalming is no longer needed.

Our Council now has a ‘natural burial’ cemetery where, instead of permanent memorials, trees are planted on the graves.  

We are working alongside these groups to provide an alternative path for those seeking options other than the services provided by the traditional funeral directors.

Training funeral guides:

Funeral guides will assist whanau in a practical way, ensuring compliance with legal and medical obligations, talking families through options, and working behind the scenes to ensure things happen smoothly. 


How we will provide support

We must generate sufficient income to meet costs and to replace items as needed.  However, we will keep costs low through having only an online presence, meeting people in their homes, at marae, and churches.

 Guides can hire shared resources of practical use, such as trolleys and the Atamira Matao.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a funeral guide or for more information contact Ruth at or check out their website at 

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Accessible Transport Solutions
Waka Eastern Bay

A strong group of enthusiasts have joined the Board of a new Whakatāne venture aiming to ensure all people can access transport, even those who cannot drive or afford to run a car. As petrol prices go up, solutions to transport problems in our rural area are becoming even more urgent. Concerned by the isolation and vulnerability of seniors/pākeke, Eastern Bay Villages: Te Kokoru Manaakitanga applied for funding to address the transport issues that left many isolated and often unable to attend medical appointments, or participate fully in their communities. Research was undertaken that uncovered the ways in which this problem affects people of all ages in the Whakatāne district. It also explored solutions in other communities, such as the Sunshine Service providing community transport in Gisborne. Eastern Bay Villages then decided a new charitable trust was needed to focus on transport issues in all our district’s communities, taking into account the needs of youth, seniors, students, people with disabilities, and others. Last week, Board members came together to sign the Trust Deed establishing the Eastern Bay Accessible Transport Charitable Trust. We are fortunate to have skilled trustees come on board bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge and governance skills to the table. The next step is to source funding for vehicles and trial potential solutions, such as carpooling. We already have one wheelchair accessible vehicle ready and waiting for a volunteer driver and someone with a spare garage to enable it to be used for trials,

initially focusing on seniors and people with a disability.


If you would like more information, to become a volunteer driver or driver support person please contact Renee Lubbe on 0274 077 526 or email 

Waka Eastern Bay | Whakatane | Facebook

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