Future of the Huntly Memorial Hall

Waikato District Council is asking for feedback from the Huntly community regarding the future of the Huntly Memorial Hall.

Council is seeking the community’s input in a formal submission process due to the historical significance of the Hall to members of the community.

Story so far

We sent you a letter in July last year asking for your feedback about the future of the Huntly Memorial Hall, which has been unable to be used since 2015.

Five options were presented and 438 responses were received.  

From the feedback, 309 (71%) of respondents chose an option that would have seen the removal of the hall, with no impact on the current community facilities targeted rate of $42.

Of those, 147 respondents wanted to see the hall removed and the area landscaped to incorporate memorial items; 87 preferred the hall to be removed, the land sold and memorial items rehomed; and 75 were in favour of the hall being repurposed via a commercial partnership.

On the other hand, 125 respondents (28%) opted to retain the hall in one form or another.  Of those, 101 people wanted to see the current hall refurbished and 24 wanted the hall removed and a new community facility built.  These options would have resulted in an increase in the community facilities targeted rate.

Four people (1%) gave feedback without selecting an option.

Situation has changed

Since that consultation, things have changed somewhat.  The other Council-owned facility in town, the Huntly Civic Centre, has been earmarked for use by the Waikato Coalfields Museum.

This means there would be no Council-owned community facility available in Huntly if the Memorial Hall is not refurbished and is removed.

It has also emerged that a local community group is interested in helping refurbish the Huntly Memorial Hall to an acceptable standard for it to be used.  This may be a staged development over some years but it is their belief that they can help bring the hall to a usable standard at a lower cost than what was initially envisaged by Council consultants.

Are there alternatives?

There are a number of other community-owned facilities in Huntly that are available for public use.  These include the Huntly RSA, Huntly Workingmen’s Club, Anglican Church Hall (Friendship House). 

The closest Council-owned facilities to Huntly are the Taupiri Soldiers and Settlers Hall (8km) and Ohinewai Hall (8km).

What's it going to cost me?

There may be financial implications to you if the Huntly Memorial Hall is refurbished, though Council will make every effort to keep costs at a minimum.  This may involve collaborating with the local community group to undertake some of the work required and to seek outside funding opportunities.

As ratepayer within the Huntly Community Facilities catchment, you currently pay an annual community facilities targeted rate of $42 – the portion allocated to the hall and Civic Centre is $26, and $16 is used for the Huntly Aquatic Centre (GST inclusive). 

Money you have been paying for the hall, even while it has not been in use, is in a reserve fund which is used to fund depreciation and maintenance costs of the Civic Centre.  There is not enough money currently available to pay for the estimated Memorial Hall refurbishment costs.

To minimise any potential targeted rate increase to Huntly ratepayers, a staged refurbishment of the hall over some years could be considered alongside community involvement in the refurbishment and fundraising. 

Any increase in a community facilities targeted rate that could result from the refurbishment of the Huntly Memorial Hall would be added to the current targeted rate of $42. 

If the community indicates that they want a facility and support refurbishing the hall there is a possibility that an additional amount of targeted rate may be required.  We will come back to you to confirm the amount (if any) and that you are happy to proceed before the any refurbishment work is undertaken. 

Now what?

So, after taking all of the above into consideration, we need to go back to the very crux of the matter before we move forward.

Do you want, and would you use, a Council-owned community facility in Huntly?

If so, do you support refurbishing the Huntly Memorial Hall?

Have your say

We encourage you to let us know by filling in the feedback form below.

Have your say here

Feedback must be received by 11 May 2018.

Want to know more?

Contact us on 0800 492 452 or email donna.rawlings@waidc.govt.nz.

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