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Taihape Town Hall and Library Closed for Earthquake Strengthening

December 10, 2021

UPDATE: 16 December 2021

Following on from our notification last week of the closure of the Taihape Town Hall and Library, we are delighted to advise that Council has found a suitable premises to lease in Taihape so that we can continue to provide library and information centre services in the township.

You may see staff moving gear and equipment between the Town Hall and 102 Hautapu Street, our new Taihape office. We expect to open to the public on 22 December 2021, and more information will be released closer to the opening of the new office.

The Taihape Town Hall and Library has been closed due to the risk it poses to staff and the public following a detailed seismic assessment (DSA) report that Council’s Chief Executive received earlier this week.

The Taihape facility received a rating of only 10% National Building Standard (NBS). The report identified that the risk to both staff and public in the event of an earthquake was high, therefore the Chief Executive has made the decision to close the site to undertake the work needed to bring the building up to an acceptable standard.

Council has been developing more knowledge of its asset portfolio to understand the condition of all its buildings, and seismic assessments were part of this work. Early indications from other the site assessments are that none of them pose the same risk as the Taihape facility. Minor works to strengthen some areas of some buildings will be required, but those buildings are assessed by engineers as safe to occupy.

Mr Peter Beggs, Chief Executive, said “I have not made this decision lightly, but my absolute priority is the safety of my staff and the public that visit and use the site. The assessment report outlined multiple structural elements that were a concern throughout the whole of the Town Hall and office space. Staff have been moved out of the site immediately and will be re-located to another site in Taihape.”

Mayor Andy Watson said “The Town Hall and Library facility is a very old and iconic building in Taihape so Council will work hard to ensure any future options consider the value of this. It is important to know that the building has not been condemned, options for a long-term solution for the Taihape site will be investigated and Council will consider those in the next few months. This may include strengthening options for a new building or restoring the building – no decision has been made at this time.”

Alternative locations in Taihape to house Council services are being urgently assessed, with a decision on this expected to be made in the coming days. Council expects limited library and other services to be available prior to Christmas at the alternative location.

Planned improvement work that was due to start today at the Taihape Town Hall and Library (a new counter, flooring) has been cancelled with some of this work being redirected to undertake improvements at the pavilion at Kokako Street so it can be used as alternative meeting spaces.

Further work is being undertaken on the impact of the assessment on surrounding infrastructure. Details of this will be released when known.