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Rural Kiwi Community Halls Could Be Next Big Thing

NEWS RELEASE

Harcourts Te Awamutu Speculates Rural ‘Kiwi’ Community Halls Could Be ‘Next Big Thing’

For Release: 15 November 2006

After 43 spirited auction bids on Saturday, the little used Puketotara/Ngutunui Community Hall (just south of Pirongia, near Te Awamutu) went to a new owner with a long appreciation of the building and keen to convert it to a private residence.

With just one booking in the last year, the Puketotara/Ngutunui Committee discovered their local hall was not being used enough to justify ongoing maintenance costs, and reluctantly decided to sell. Harcourts Te Awamutu Sales Consultant Don Pinny was invited by the committee to discuss the best way to market the property, at which point the high profile auction process was decided upon.

Manager of Harcourts Te Awamutu, Kathy Elliott said the four week marketing campaign resulted in “huge interest with most buying enquiry from Auckland, Tauranga and local people who appreciated the opportunity to convert it to a residence”. The hall’s farewell public function was the onsite auction run by Harcourts Te Awamutu Business Owner and Auctioneer, Ken McGrath on Saturday 11 November to “packed-out” local attendance.

Ms Elliott said, “The opening bid was very quickly followed by a ‘bidding war’ and 43 bids later, the property was sold for $162,500 to a Cambridge buyer who has frequently used the hall parking as a place to stop for lunch when he was in the area on business.” She added that the committee was “thrilled” with the outcome.

Built of native timber in 1932 by settlers of the district, the traditional ‘Kiwi country hall’ has a floor area of around 230sqm including glossy native Matai flooring, high stud ceilings, kitchen, stage, supper area and two toilets. The hall is on three titles comprising of 6,437sqm of land with panoramic mountain and rural farmland views. Its convenient location between Otorohanga, Pirongia and Te Awamutu townships as well as being on the main route to Kawhia Harbour, provided for a wide range of possibilities.

Ms Elliott speculated that based on feedback, there could be a number of little used rural halls around the country with high ongoing maintenance costs which could easily be converted as ‘the next big thing’ in rural lifestyle homes.

ENDS

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