The Loons Club

'The Loons', 16 Canterbury Street, Lyttelton

The Loons Club (formerly known as the Lyttelton Working Mens Club) has been part of the the local community for many years, operating in a building that was entrusted to us in 1951 by the Watersiders Union. The historical significance of the premises and its connections are well understood in the Lyttelton community.

Our objective is to provide for social, cultural, sporting, recreational and artistic activities beneficial to the people of Lyttelton and the wider Canterbury area. We need your support to make that happen. Read on to find out how you can help.


Our building has been an integral, significant and well-known part of the Lyttelton community for over a century. Built in 1905, the building housed a range of commerical premises through to 1944 including a grocery shop and the Loons garage. In 1944, the building was purchased by three watersiders and around that time the premises were converted to become the Waterside Workers Social Club known locally as 'The Loons'. The parapet façade is a replica of the art deco frontage from the 1930's; it is also seen on other local buildings.

Our history is part of New Zealand history.

1951 is a significant year in New Zealand history. Lyttelton and its port, along with others throughout the country, were involved in the largest industrial dispute ever seen in New Zealand which lasted for 151 days. Read more about our history.


  • To provide a facility for members and the wider Lyttelton community and to raise funding necessary to support ongoing costs of such a facility.
  • To apply for any licenses and permits that may be deemed necessary or desirable by the society.
  • To provide for social, cultural, sporting, recreational and artistic activities beneficial to the people of Lyttelton and the wider Canterbury area.
  • To provide facilities and support for Theatre, Arts and Music and assistance in fundraising.
  • To promote appreciation of performing arts and theatre craft by supporting ongoing training of young, amateur and professional performers.
  • To focus on completing the repair and refurbishments to our two storey premises.

Fundraising - "Let's get it sorted!"


The necessary rebuild of our premises after the damaging earthquakes of 2011, has encouraged us to think about how we fit into and can support and promote our community as it is revitalised. We have so much history that we want to acknowledge and retain. So much has been lost in Lyttelton; we have an opportunity to both save the past and look to the future.

We intend to be the preferred community premises and preferred venue for touring performers in the wider Harbour area in addition to providing a social venue for our members. We have a broad focus beyond service to our members.

We have altered our rules to reflect our strong desire to promote the performing arts in the Harbour among adults and children, as well as promoting recreational, sporting and other cultural activities.

Our current focus is to complete our new two storey premises which include a commercial kitchen, a lockable bar area and a large upper floor multi-purpose space. We are particularly proud of the inclusion of a fly tower in the building. This is specifically to encourage the performing arts, both local and touring.

Read more about our current situation.

Our progress to date...

70% Complete

We need your support to help us to complete our facilities. Thanking you in advance for your contribution to this much-needed community resource!

On Board

Our Future

We will be the only Harbourside premises with a broad, flexible range of uses available all day, seven days a week; a much needed facility as Lyttelton regenerates and develops into the future. Our modern, multipurpose premises will support:

  • Theatre, music, dance and circus performance training, practice and competitions
  • Clubs of all sorts - recreational, sporting, vocational, cultural, etc
  • Casual and regular meeting spaces and practice rooms
  • Events and functions including conferences, weddings, funerals, art auctions, visiting speakers, film evenings

We have already been approached as a potential venue for performing arts and as an events venue. Local musicians have confirmed support for the venue. Cantabrians are aware of Lyttelton as a vibrant, artistic community of which we will become a significant part. We will attract users from the wider community.

See architectural views and plans of the project.


If you wish to become a member of the The Loons Club and support the vision and future direction being created, please complete the simple online membership application form.

Your membership request will go through a nomination process. A right of refusal is held by the committee. To become a member you agree to abide by the rules and constitution of the club.

By becoming a member, you not only get to enjoy the benefits to which membership will entitle you, but you also help us out at this crucial time, to press on with our repairs to make our building watertight - and therefore to allow us to complete the fitout.

Help us progress with the last great push to completion - join now!

To apply, complete the simple membership application form.

Membership costs $40 per annum, and can be deposited directly into our account via online banking.