Sunday, April 14, 2024
10.1 C


My Account

- Advertisement -

New scope pursued for controversial civic plan

“I just want to still be alive and on this planet when things actually happen.”

This sentiment was voiced by Masterton’s deputy mayor Bex Johnson at the council’s recent Annual Plan deliberation meeting, regarding the council’s civic facility project.

Discussions on the controversial project have been underway for several years since the closure of the earthquake-prone town hall in 2016.

After the project was halted last year, it’s again underway, with the council now tasked to develop a project plan and costings.

A final decision is set to be made as part of the 2024-34 Long Term Plan [LTP], followed by work.

As part of this year’s Annual Plan consultation, Masterton residents were asked various questions to help inform the new scope of the project after the previous $71.3 million concept was ditched due to being unaffordable.

Because the project is included in the existing LTP, a new scope can only be agreed on and actioned through a new plan or amendment.

Submissions to this year’s annual plan indicated people want a facility with a reduced scope on the site of the existing town hall and an upgrade of the existing library in its current location.

The previous council concept was a hub that included the library as well as elements of an events centre.

The top five features submitters want to see in the new civic facility scope were: a space for concerts, plays, performances, and cultural events [80.11 per cent]; meeting rooms [65.73 per cent]; use of green build design concepts [59.32 per cent]; catering facilities [57.81 per cent]; and an information hub/customer service space [52.85 per cent].

The civic facility features with the least support were a cafe, library and archive, and children’s playground.

In addition to answering survey questions, 108 submitters used the open section of the submission to provide additional comments on the civic facility.

About 20 per cent expressed a level of discontent with the project, including questioning the need for a facility, concerns regarding cost, and questioning whether the project is a priority.

Council will now complete scoping work and identify a short list of options for development, including costings, for consideration in the 2024-34 LTP.

A final set of options will then be consulted on, after which council will give final approval.

The governance structure for the project is the full council, as opposed to a committee.


    Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
overcast clouds
10.1 ° C
13.3 °
10.1 °
75 %
95 %
13 °
18 °
20 °
20 °
18 °