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Civic Facility, Housing for Seniors, Masterton Revamp, MoU

Masterton District Council will proceed with construction of a civic facility, including the library and archives, starting in 2022/23, seeking $4 million in external funding, and using $26.8m in loan funds.

Councillors voted at its deliberations meeting today to take the preferred option for construction of the civic facility, as set out in the draft Long-Term Plan consultation document.

Work will go ahead to raise funding through the external funding applications, grants and trusts, partnership arrangements and philanthropic investment and in-kind donations. This workstream will run in parallel to land acquisition and the design process.

On the proposal to build more housing for seniors, the Council decided to make vacant land at Panama Village available for more public housing but get someone else to build it. The Council will work with the Government (via Kāinga Ora), community housing providers, and iwi to ascertain the most appropriate arrangement for a provider, or providers, to fund and build the public housing.

The start of the 10-year Masterton Revamp project was deferred for three years, though there is provision for landscaping at the Kuripuni roundabout and the northern welcome to Masterton, and maintenance of town centre pavements.

Mayor Lyn Patterson said the results of deliberations gave the community clarity.

“The decision on the civic facility is the culmination of five years’ work, including four consultations with the public since the town hall was closed in 2016.

“After nearly five years and four consultation processes, now is the time for us as elected representatives to step up, do our job, show leadership and good governance, and make a decision today for our future generations.

“Our purpose under the Local Government Act is not just to hear from those in the community but we need to be the voices of those that are yet to come – our mokopuna and their tamariki, our future generations.

“Let us be brave, and create something that our community will be excited about, something that embraces our Māori culture, tells our stories, and celebrates our diversity as a multi-cultural community.”

On the Masterton Revamp project, Lyn said stressed the Council’s commitment to a project supported by the community for a number of years.

While work will be deferred, if external funding becomes available, this may allow some work to be brought forward.

The Council also agreed to continue plans to invest in water storage, making a final decision about how this is achieved once the outcome of the Wakamoekau Community Storage project consent process is known.

It will enter into a memorandum of understanding with Wairarapa Water Limited to establish a way forward for a municipal water supply to the Masterton District.

This is a non-binding arrangement that does not commit the Council to the community storage project.

The final Long-Term Plan will go to the Council for final approval on 30 June, when it will also set rates for 2021/22.