Civic Facility Development

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Masterton’s combined town hall and district building was closed in June 2016 due to having an earthquake rating below the required standard.

A new Civic facility is one of the most important things that we will deliver and we need to make sure it will deliver what current and future generations expect. The time and effort we’ve put into this since the Town Hall was closed has shown us that we can’t just replace the old Town Hall with a newer version – we need to think broader.

We’re bringing Masterton into the 21st century so it’s a home that our tamariki and mokopuna can be proud of. The developments we have planned for Masterton will change our town in a way that hasn’t been seen since the 1950s.

Masterton’s combined town hall and district building was closed in June 2016 due to having an earthquake rating below the required standard. A new Civic facility is one of the most important things that we will deliver and we need to make sure it will deliver what current and future generations expect. The time and effort we’ve put into this since the Town Hall was closed has shown us that we can’t just replace the old Town Hall with a newer version – we need to think broader.

We’re bringing Masterton into the 21st century so it’s a home that our tamariki and mokopuna can be proud of. The developments we have planned for Masterton will change our town in a way that hasn’t been seen since the 1950s.

We have worked to define six objectives for our multi-purpose community facility. We want it to:

  • meet the needs of the Masterton community and contribute to the wellbeing and liveability of the Wairarapa
  • embrace our Māori culture and multi-cultural community
  • use Green Building design for efficiency and environmental benefit
  • be multi-purpose and be suitable and well use by future generations
  • be affordable for our community
  • be located somewhere that encourages activity, provides easy access, and fits in with existing community facilities.

And we’ve also thought about what features the facility should include:

      • a flexi-form “black box” theatre with capacity to seat 500 people
      • new library and archives that meets the needs of Masterton now and for the future
      • an information hub – central point for council and community-related information
      • pre-function space that doubles as exhibition space
      • suitable kitchen facilities to support the event spaces
      • meeting rooms

We’ve also explored where in Masterton a new civic facility is best placed to be and in 2020 Council agreed that locations north of the current Town Hall site should be looked at. A location further north allows us to celebrate the connection to the Waipoua river, a stronger link to our nationally recognised QEII Park, and most importantly deliver a facility of the size and scale that meets the future needs of our tamariki and mokopuna – something the current Town Hall site doesn’t allow.

This project is set out in our 2021-31 Long-Term Plan and is one of the key consultation topics for April 2021.

Check out some artist’s impressions below – these are not final designs, they are just intended to give you an idea of how this space could look and feel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Civic Centre?

The term civic centre simply means a large public building or complex for meetings, sports or entertainment. We see it as a shared space, owned by the community, which brings people together.

Why is this important for the Masterton Community?

Large publicly owned buildings give communities the opportunity to come together for events, celebrations or commemorations. It could be a concert, a local market or a sports game. Being able to bring different parts of our community together is important for our societal wellbeing.

Aside from the social benefits, members of the Masterton community also told us they were keen to see a new building developed when Masterton’s town hall and district building were closed in 2016.

What will happen to the old town hall?

We’ll decide what to do with the old Town Hall and municipal buildings in the future, once we’ve done some detailed planning around Masterton’s layout and identified land or buildings needed to support our future. We’re planning for the next 50 years, we want to get it right.

Why not build on the current town hall site?

The site of the current Town Hall might have been the best location in 1915, but it’s not anymore because it’s not well connected to our Town Centre and getting people safely across SH2 is a challenge, the site is limited in size which means that we aren’t able to build what we need for our future generations, and it doesn’t utilise some of the great things that make Masterton special like QEII Park and the Waipoua river.

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