3 March 2022
Masterton District Council has directed architects, Architectus, to explore land at and around the Trust House Recreation Centre as a potential location for the Masterton Civic Facility.
The land is owned by the Council, which voted unanimously at an extraordinary meeting yesterday to end negotiations on another site at the north end of the town centre. Councillors who are also Masterton Trust Lands Trust board members were not included in the discussion or voting.
Civic Facility Project Committee Chairperson, Councillor Tina Nixon, welcomed the development in the project.
“We have looked at several sites for the new Civic Facility since the project started. I am convinced that the area we are now considering is an excellent option for a couple of reasons – it meets the Council’s 2020 decision of the north end of town being the preferred location of the Civic Facility, has strong links to Queen Elizabeth Park and the Waipoua River, and it’s land already owned by Council.”
“Our architects will be meeting with the Civic Facility Project Committee at our first meeting next week to discuss what the options for that site might look like. Council has committed to being as transparent as possible throughout this process, and that meeting will be livestreamed to allow members of the public to see what is being discussed,” she said.
“Until now, we couldn’t publicly discuss sites not currently owned by the Council due to commercial sensitivity. However, as that is no longer an issue, we look forward to bringing locals along with us as we explore and develop the Civic Facility design over coming months. I am excited to see this new community hub come to life”, she said.
A motion at yesterday’s meeting to direct the Chief Executive to investigate the impacts of revisiting the existing Town Hall site was lost.
Note to editors
The 2020/21 MDC annual plan included a decision that a multi-purpose civic facility be built, with $250,000 budgeted for the year to pay for initial planning and design work.
In December 2020, after a tour of community facilities in the lower North Island, the Council voted to proceed with a civic facility that could include:
- a flexi-form black box theatre
- library and archives
- information hub (Council services; i-site; box office etc)
- pre-function come exhibition space
- suitable kitchen facilities to support the event space
- meeting rooms.
On 2 June 2021 as part of the Long-Term Plan for 2021-31, the Council voted 6-5 to build a modern civic facility with external funding of at least $4 million.