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Candidates split on town hall

PHOTO/FILE
 … but there are more important issues
Masterton’s mayoral and district council candidates were asked for their favoured option for the town hall site, and if it was the most important issue facing the town.

Cory Burling

I would prefer to see a majority vote for a new civic centre/community hub that would allow for the entire community to benefit, as well as also housing the MDC offices.

Positive progress forward as opposed to another three years of no action, although the town hall is not the only urgent matter needing the council’s attention.

Gary Caffell

I am all for saving the facade and rebuilding the town hall and strongly believe it could be done for under the budgeted $15m. Figures produced to date are from one source.

Something this big needs second and third opinions.

As for issues, it is certainly the biggest cost-wise and that puts it right up there.

Deborah Davidson

I’m keen to keep the facade only and build a civic centre, ensuring it has multiple uses for multiple users.

I don’t think it’s the biggest issue. We still need to improve on the core business — roads, footpaths and storm water are a priority for council.

Brent Gare

It’s not just about options; it’s a combination of what the public want, and what we can afford. Whatever way we go it must be sustainable.

Usage figures before closure were shockingly low.

There are more pressing issues such as infrastructure, roading, water, changing environment and housing.

Graeme Farr

I am a heritage fan so would prefer one of the options that retain the facade. Perhaps it’s best to wait, as when the Remutaka Road Tunnel is built, the region will come alive and facilities for events will be much more in demand!

[It is not the most important issue] – that’s the tunnel of course!

Carys Gibbs

I am in favour of a vibrant, flexible community space notwithstanding a rates increase. Strengthening the existing building means a lower carbon footprint.

However. I would like to see build and maintenance comparisons for a future-focused, environmentally sustainable building.

The biggest issue for Masterton is planning for our changing demographic.

David Holmes

Masterton needs a centre. The town hall facade fits well with the Times-Age and Public Trust buildings and I would like to see it retained.

I would like to see the full consultation document regarding costings. A big decision needs to be the correct one.

Water storage should be a priority.

Jonathan Hooker

I’m in a different position to other councillors. Should I be re-elected I will be chairing the consultation and hearing phase – the next step in the process.

I need to go into that process with an open mind and with no outcomes already predetermined in my own mind.

Peter James

I like the facade, however the community must benefit. The existing ideas cost ratepayers too much.

I believe that a civic/event centre will bring business to Masterton. But we need new thinking for the capital costs. Crowd funding, business sponsors?

Reduced ratepayer costs, and publicity for participating local businesses.

Bex Johnson

My preference is to demolish, keep the facade and build. However, I question whether the community can afford such a project, not just the costs quoted but the associated ongoing operational costs.

Whatever shape this takes, there are much more important issues facing our ratepayers and community than building sites and buildings.

Ronald Karaitiana

Democratically I support what the people want – 59 per cent suggests a new centre.

I don’t think the town hall is the biggest issue, it will be rates to purchase the new centre, metered water rates to every house, and infrastructure.

Donna Laing

Keep the facade, and build a new modern civic centre.

We have more pressing and concerning issues with ensuring sustainable practices, eg enabling incentivised water storage. Infrastructure that will cope with the uncertainty of climate change while allowing for economic growth.

Ensuring accountability and transparency in rate distribution is a must.

John Lapslie

I support the option to demolish, but retain the facade, then sell to recover costs.

The biggest issues facing our district are failing infrastructure, sewage being discharged into rivers, council water pipes leaking millions of litres of drinking water each month, and finally being resilient in our future water needs.

Britt Leveridge

None of these are favourable — from a $15-20m spend on a new facility, to an empty liability [currently]. We need to first look at other options for the adjoining buildings, which could financially supplement a rebuild/purpos- built centre.

There are bigger issues facing our community, such as water and well-being.

Frazer Mailman

My preferred option is retention of the facade.

I believe that water and its associated activity is our biggest issue, however, the town hall is our most pressing issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

I would advocate for a 600-700 seat auditorium and develop the other buildings into a community hub.

Graham McClymont

Really no councillor should comment before consultation is completed as we should maintain open minds and listen to the public before weighing up options.

There are a lot of issues going forward, like climate change and water security that are far bigger than a town hall but we do need to resolve the issue next term.

Isabella McClymont

I don’t feel that we have the detailed information, nor the results of any public consultation, to be able to sit strongly in favour of any of the options presented.

I believe we have other challenges such as water storage, climate change and housing availability that are more pressing issues.

Tim Nelson

It saddens me to say, but I feel the best approach will be to build a completely new facility, allowing for a design that will cater for a wide range of events, bringing people to our town.

However, the town hall is not the most pressing issue Masterton faces.

Tina Nixon

As mayor, I’ll commit council to making a decision within three months.

I favour facade retention with a multi-purpose events centre but if the rates burden is too high then it’s a no.

I have no confidence in the two public consultation processes.

The most significant issue is water storage.

Lyn Patterson

I support a multi-purpose civic centre that can serve the people of Masterton today and for future generations – a special place that can bring the community together to enjoy events and activities.

No, there are more pressing priorities, including water resilience, the lack of social housing, and responding to climate change.

Chris Peterson

No, it is not the biggest issue facing the next council as we consider all the consequences –disruptions, costs, opportunities – rapidly becoming front of mind with climate change.

Have no firm opinion yet on the town hall and will await the full consultation document to be developed and the community’s responses.

Sandy Ryan

Option 2 [demolish all buildings and build a new civic centre].

A place for individuals and communities to participate for social, cultural, political and economic purposes.

A purpose-built space, reflecting our heritage, that accommodates multiple uses provides connection, pride and belonging.

[There are more important issues] — water, environment, housing, economic development and well-being.

David ‘Tubs’ Wright

My favoured option is to demolish but keep the facade.

With compliance, building, and labour costs increasing at a far higher rate than the cost of borrowing money, there is no cheaper time to take action.

This is not the biggest issue facing ratepayers.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Please keep the town hall, we spent how much money on that terrible art thingamajig over the round-about. Why cant we have our hall? Go Mr Borman.

  2. Please don’t demolish this magnificent building, it is a feature of Masterton and a reminder of the past. Too many older buildings around the country are being demolished to allow ugly ‘modern’ structures which quickly date and have no character. Keep the facade and build within if necessary.

Comments are closed.

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