Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Future use of the Municipal Building

Future use of the Municipal Building

"The most vibrant and significant arts, culture and events facility in New Zealand. Honouring the past, nurturing the present and inspiring future generations."
Hawke's Bay Opera House 2019-2021 Strategic Plan vision statement

Hastings District Council's Municipal Building project is part of the overall Hawke's Bay Opera House Precinct work programme, which also includes the Opera House and Plaza buildings.

The precinct development is an investment in cultural infrastructure. Council and community consider the works a vital part of the cultural and economic revitalisation of Hastings City.

The Municipal Building is a standalone project, but its cultural and economic value are integral to the overall Opera House Precinct. This includes seismic strengthening work, refurbishment of the Opera House and redevelopment of what was the Plaza into a multi-use function space.

Earthquake strengthening and interior redevelopment are the two main stages of this project. The two streams go hand-in-¬hand: without interior redevelopment, council will have an earthquake strengthened building but no code of compliance for use.

Mid 2015: Ahead of public consultation to help find the best way forward for the Opera House, Plaza and Municipal Building an Independent Working Party (IWP) was established to formulate potential options for the wider precinct. The recommendations put to council later that year included the need to find a new use for the Municipal Building that would justify the strengthening costs.

January 2017: The Municipal Building Working Group was established to inform discussions about the future use of the facility. This comprised members of the arts community, iwi and others closely involved with the facility, some over many years.

July 2018: Based on these in-depth discussions architects Matthews & Matthews Ltd, together with Dena Aroha Bach, presented draft concept designs for the Municipal Building to council.

September 2018: Concept designs were presented to the community at a public meeting held at the Hastings City Art Gallery and published in Hawke's Bay Today. The public was invited to add their voice to the conversation through a feedback form on the Hawke's Bay Opera House website.

December 2018: Further community engagement through a 'pop-up' booth in the Hastings CBD enabled further conversations with business associations, community and performing arts groups, developers, working group members and the public.

Feedback gathered from community engagement indicated a desire for a logical and fitting focus to be identified for the Municipal Building reflective of its history, and as a companion to the Opera House Theatre and the former Plaza space.

Based on this community feedback, the following aspirations were established:

Integrated and future-proofed facility
• Integrated with the CBD Revitalisation Strategy – additionality to other investment.
• Key identified heritage features are preserved/enhanced.
• Flexible and adaptive design and spaces.

Value for money community facility
• Optimum use of external capital.
• Municipal Building and wider arts and events centre is operationally sustainable on rates.

Multi-use facility
• Enhances and showcases performing arts.
• Complementary events/conference space to the Plaza.
• Provides pathways for youth.
• Enhanced arts and entertainment centre user experience.
• Showcases Ngāti Kahungunu and Takitimu performing arts.

Against these goals, Hastings District Council considered seven options, applying a weighting to each.

These options ranged from doing nothing (strengthening the building but no compliance for use); strengthening and selling; the full Matthews & Matthews concept (as shared with the community in July 2018); to variations of commercial, community and educational use (or a combination of all three).

Preferred option
Based on this, a combination of commercial, community and educational use most closely aligns with the project's goals and is council's preferred option for the future of the Municipal Building. This option also aligns with the available funding for the project already set aside within council budgets and debt forecasts, and has been the subject of previous community engagement.

This operating model fits with the Long Term Plan and can be achieved through a mixed model of commercial tenancy, public use and spaces let permanently to education providers for purposes aligned with wider precinct activities.

In this mixed-use model, possible uses for the Municipal Building could include:

• Conferencing
• Corporate functions
• Weddings
• Hospitality (bars, restaurants, cafe)
• Exhibition space
• Performing arts school
• Culinary school
• Ticketing office
• Retailers that showcase the Hawke's Bay region
• Tourism

• Artist in residence
• Meetings
• Symposiums
• Cocktail functions
• Dinners
• Ballroom
• Studio spaces
• Theatre
• Rehearsal spaces
• School events
• Community gatherings

The vision enabled
The redevelopment of the Municipal Building is an important part of the revitalisation of Hastings City Centre and council's 'City Vibrancy Plan'. The building's development has the potential to bring economic and social benefits. It will be a centre for activities and events the whole community can enjoy, it will be a place we can all be part of with a shared sense of belonging. A vibrant hub in the city will also have a positive impact for the commercial sector.

Ground Floor
This could include a mix of retail tenants, with the newly created additional spaces made available for public hire and educational providers.

First Floor
The structural integrity will be retained (including the heritage assembly hall/ballroom and smaller function/meeting spaces) and made available for public hire.

“Giving the community, visitors, businesses and Mana Whenua multiple reasons to be proud of the buildings themselves as well as the activities that take place in them.”
Hawke’s Bay Opera House 2019-2021 Strategic Plan

Linked investment
Together with the new 35-room apartment-style hotel to be built in the vacant building adjacent to the Opera House precinct, Hastings now has in place a significant component of its broader City Centre Strategy.

Hastings District Council has been successful in funding the precinct redevelopment in accordance with what was previously outlined in the Long Term Plan.

Council funding of $23.8m, along with a further $9.5m of funding from external funders, has enabled the required earthquake strengthening work on the Opera House and Municipal Building. Also included is the upgrade of those facilities and the construction of the new building on the site of the former Plaza. Council has also taken the opportunity to complete asset renewal while the buildings have been closed.

These works have been supported by key external funders (Lottery Grants Board - Significant Project Fund and the Environment and Heritage Fund).

There is currently a capital funding gap of $2m for the full redevelopment option for the Municipal Building to be delivered. Council is confident this can be closed through alternative funding sources and community fundraising initiatives. There is also the option of scaling back the delivery of the full architectural concepts as required. Council will not be asking community for additional funding through rates.

What do you think?
Come and view the preferred option for the Municipal Building and what it means for Hastings at the Opera House precinct information booth.

When: Saturday 7 September until Saturday 14 September
Where: Auaha, Hastings City Art Gallery

Your feedback and comments are a vital component of this project. Views will be reported back to Council on Thursday 26 September.

Not able to make it to the Hastings City Art Gallery? These same designs and supporting information are available on the Hastings District Council website at www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/municipalbuilding. There you also have the opportunity to share your thoughts via an online form.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, lest he be carried away in the slavering jaws of Jack Tame…. but this was mere incompetence, not malice. At the same time the President of the United States was (a) falsely accusing one of his media critics of murder, and (b) threatening to shut down Twitter for attaching a warning label to Trump’s attempt at poisoning the electoral process by falsely claiming that postal voting has led to extensive voter fraud... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes

The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>


Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>






InfoPages News Channels