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Taihape Town Hall

March 2024

The Registration of Interest (ROI) is live on the Government Electronic Tender Services (GETS) portal since 19 Feb 2024 and remains open until 12 Mar 2024. All submissions received before the deadline shall then be carefully reviewed to shortlist a few teams to take part in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage.

In the meantime, we have engaged an architectural practice to prepare high level concept sketches that is intended to be included as part of the RFP process. Please bear in mind these sketches are in no way, to be deemed as design drawings but they merely offer a design direction for the final selected team to embark on. The RFP process is expected to come to a close by End April 2024. We anticipate to kickstart the design process with the selected vendor sometime in May 2024.

October 2023

The Taihape Town Hall/Civic Centre is a key community facility for those in Taihape and the surrounding rural areas.

If you missed out on the workshop held earlier this month, find out more about where we're at with this project!

The building has been closed to the public since 2021 as it was identified as an earthquake-prone building, posing a significant risk to life in the event of an earthquake. It’s hosted a number of events over the years from concerts and theatre productions to sports and recreation, to important community meetings and business events, and everything else in between. It also houses the Taihape Library, Information Centre, and Rangitīkei District Council Offices.

Why does the building need strengthening?

Central Government introduced the national earthquake-prone building system in 2017. The system is designed to ensure that buildings meet minimum earthquake standards following information that was gained after the Canterbury and Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

Where are we now?

Whilst the Town Hall/Civic Centre is not classified as a heritage building, the feedback we’ve had from the community is that they would like this building to be opened again. This does pose some challenges for the Council. Building and supply costs have more than tripled in the past few years and are still continuing to rise. There is an option to demolish the building and build a new facility, but all indication from the users is that they want to retain the building's iconic exterior façade which is a huge part of the town's identity.

As part of the Annual Plan 2023-24, the Council has approved a total budget of $14 million for the strengthening and redevelopment of the building, which includes compliance with all building code standards (fire safety, accessibility, and current building code). The council then asked for staff to get feedback from the users of the Town Hall/Civic Centre about what it is that they use the facility for, what they could see it being used for in the future, and anything else they think that the Council should consider when undertaking this project.

So far, we’ve received lots of feedback from people who care about the Town Hall/Civic Centre. Some of it is conflicting, which makes it difficult for the council to determine what the scope of the project should be. Council held a workshop with users and interested people on Tuesday, 3 October to get a better idea of what people were wanting, and if it was realistic to achieve within the agreed budget.

This workshop was well attended, and many shared their thoughts and ideas about what they would like to see happening to the building, and what it could be used for in the future that would be beneficial to the community.

What happens next?

Council staff together with the consultant who facilitated the workshop are collating the feedback from the workshop and a report will be produced. Based on the findings of the report, annual plan submissions, and other feedback received from individual groups, staff will then identify and form a user group ensuring every possible purpose group (e.g. Events, Meetings, Youth, Iwi, Music, Drama, Ballet, learning etc) is equally represented.

We thank everyone who attended the workshop and who has shared feedback with staff. This user group will be the community user representation for feedback through the project planning and implementation stages.

What are the timeframes for opening the building?

We’re still in the planning stages of this project so we can’t give a date as to when the building may be open again. However, we will keep residents informed as the project progresses. The end goal is to provide Taihape with a multi-purpose and fit-for-purpose facility that they can be proud of, that will meet the needs of the community not just for now, but well into the future as well.

It might seem like slow going, but it’s important that we take our time and get it right.

December 2022

The Taihape Town Hall has long been a special place for the Taihape community, but has not been used since its closure in 2021 due to earthquake risks.

We’ve heard from the community that there are a number of people who want to preserve the town hall and bring it back to life; however there are some challenges in doing this: The Town Hall will require significant earthquake strengthening, heating system and other repairs which would be at a significant cost.

Alongside the Town Hall, council facilities in Taihape (including the library and council offices) are also tired and outdated and require updating to provide better services for the community.

To help us identify the best way forward, a Better Business Case (BBC) has been undertaken to help Council better plan these projects.

A Better Business Case allows us to understand and define the problems, set objectives, and analyse options so that council can make informed decisions and smart investments that deliver the most value for money and therefore biggest impact for our community.

Going through this process outlines the key information about our projects, including why our project is necessary, how much it could cost, and how it could benefit our community.

As this is a complex project, the Better Business Case is still underway and we look forward to presenting elected members with the outcomes and various options once it has been completed in early 2023.