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13 February

More than 1,300 responses were received as part of Masterton District Council’s community engagement on the future of its Town Hall, closed in 2016 after being found to be earthquake-prone.

This included more than 1,050 surveys, and more than 250 pieces of other feedback, including emails, and “post-it” note style instant feedback forms, available at the Have Your Say hub at the council’s Queen St office, and at different events, including Waifest and the Castlepoint fishing competition.
High-level results are:

• 51 per cent of respondents indicated they were prepared to pay up to $200 a year in rates for 20 years to cover the cost of a new multipurpose facility.
• The four highest-ranked facilities regarded as important for inclusion in a new facility were (in order) space for concerts, meeting room facilities, arts/cultural exhibition space, library.
• Asked to rate the importance of the Town Hall façade on a scale of one to 10 (10 being most important), the average rating was 6 out of 10.
• When asked if they were willing to pay an additional amount if the façade was to be retained, 37 per cent said yes, 42 per cent said no, and 21 per cent said they didn’t know.

More detailed results can be found here on our website.

The engagement results will be used by councillors to decide on options for inclusion in the annual plan.

The draft annual plan will be adopted at the March 11 council meeting.

Mayor Lyn Patterson said the response to the engagement process had been outstanding.

“This was biggest response to a council survey in recent memory, and it shows how interested Masterton residents are in the next steps for the Town Hall.
“We’re now considering this valuable feedback and will include our preferred option for next steps in the draft Annual Plan for 2020-21.”