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Community Input Crucial In Hall's Future

The Foxton War Memorial Hall stands as a testament to the resilience and spirit of our community. Established in 1952, largely through a generous donation from New Zealand Woolpack and Textiles Limited (NZWATL), it has grown into a beloved community hub, symbolising the memories of sacrifice and unity.

Despite its storied history, the Foxton War Memorial Hall faces challenges in its current state. Designated as an Earthquake Prone Building, it demands substantial investment for the necessary upgrades. Moreover, low community use and ongoing maintenance costs have led Council to classify it as a non-core asset.

The journey towards determining the fate of this beloved institution commenced during the 2018 Long Term Plan consultation. Following extensive community input, Council resolved to dispose of the Foxton War Memorial Hall to align with Council's Property Strategy that aimed to optimise community resources by 2028.

During the 2021-2041 Long Term Plan consultation, community voices rallied for the transfer of the Foxton War Memorial Hall to a local group. Responding to this feedback, Council initially supported negotiations with the Foxton War Memorial Hall Society (FWMHS) for potential transfer leading to Council's decision in June 2023 to explore alternative plans and prepare for release to the general market. Some nuances regarding the Foxton War Memorial Hall’s original purpose as a war memorial prompted the need for further community consultation to determine the hall's future. "Our primary focus remains the interests of the Foxton community," stated Chief Executive Monique Davidson.

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"We firmly believe that engaging in open conversations with stakeholders and the wider community is crucial for shaping the future of the Foxton War Memorial Hall. It's vital that we handle every decision with great care, fully understanding the hall's deep historical importance and its lasting influence on our community's unity and sense of belonging."

As Council navigates through these complexities, community input becomes paramount. Three options are presented for consideration.

Option 1: Council retains and upgrades the Hall

Council commits to vital upgrades to safeguard the hall's safety and longevity, preserving its historical integrity. This endeavour demands a substantial investment from ratepayers. Preliminary estimates suggest the cost could range from $1.5M to $2.1M depending on the extent of renovations required, although further investigation is required to determine this. It's crucial to note that the cost estimates provided are indicative only. Council's consultation document has more information as to the potential impact on rates based on these indicative cost estimates.

Option 2: Council Disposes through Open Market (Preferred Option)

Council's consultation document describes a number of possible different approaches as to how the sale process could proceed and how proceeds of an open market disposal could be applied.

While selling on the open market may offer the potential for financial returns, Council also recognises the importance of community benefit. This avenue presents an opportunity for an innovative business approach that embraces forward-thinking for the site. During the consultation process, feedback is sought on the desired community amenities to accompany any commercial development.

It's important to note that Council has allocated funding to respectfully relocate the rolls of honour to Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, ensuring the continued recognition of those who served and those who lost their life while serving.

Any proceeds of the sale will be used for the purposes to be identified by Council, but consistent with the original endowment.

Option 3: Transfer to Community Organisation

Option 3 suggests transferring ownership to a community organisation, promoting local stewardship. However, this requires careful assessment of the organisation's resources and maintenance capacity. While empowering communities, it also demands support and infrastructure to ensure sustainable management. Council must thoroughly evaluate before transferring, ensuring the organisation can effectively utilise the land for broader community benefit.

Residents are urged to share thoughts, concerns and preferences regarding these options to shape the future of the Foxton War Memorial Hall.

For more information and to have your say, visit or email your preferred option to

Community consultation closes on 26 April 2024.

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