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Civic Facilities

The Future of our Civic and Community Facilities

Icon CivicCommFacilitiesCivic and Community Facilities in this conversation are the bigger facilities that Council provides in Waipukurau and Waipawa in particular, such as the Central Hawke’s Bay Municipal Theatre, Libraries, and the Civic Theatre.  

We must acknowledge that there are a huge number of private facilities also provide for the needs of our community currently. Some of these will likely need community support for their long-term upgrade and maintenance, and we want to factor their future, where appropriate, into our longer-term planning and thinking.  

We’re also thinking about our wider network of Community Halls such as the Otane and Takapau Town Halls and are specifically addressing these separately to focus on how and what we plan for in the future for our Civic and Community Facilities. 


Why are Civic and Community Facilities important? 

Central Hawke’s Bay’s civic and community facilities are much more than bricks and mortar. They provide opportunities to strengthen our communities, support our local identities and enable our people to fully participate in society. They contribute to building strong, healthy and vibrant communities, providing spaces where the people of Central Hawke’s Bay can connect, socialise, learn and participate in a wide range of social, cultural, art and recreational activities. Their activities improve our sense of wellbeing and belonging as well as create pride among our residents. 


Some conversations we’ve already had 

Last year in conjunction with community we developed the Central Hawke’s Bay Integrated Spatial Plan 2050, and as part of this we created draft town centre plans for Waipawa and Waipukurau. These plans talk about the distinctive roles our two largest towns play for all our community.  To date, some distinctive themes for each town centre are emerging as follows:   


  • A showcase of locally grown food and talent  

  • A place of historic meaning – built on heritage   

  • An affordable and attractive place for families – a place for belonging  

  • A place with pride in our environment and our people  

In response to this people felt that Waipawa needed to become better at telling and sharing its stories. There were also opportunities identified to focus on opening up and connecting places that could be used more including the Central Hawke’s Bay Municipal Theatre and the Central Hawke’s Bay Museum.  


  • Heart of a thriving rural District  

  • Family friendly and accessible for all ages  

  • Provides a sense of arrival  

  • A place with a connected network of public spaces and areas.  

  • A place where people feel connected and have everything at their fingertips  

  • A cool town where people will want to stop  

In response to this, people felt that Waipukurau could be strengthened to become a cultural hub and people centre comprised of an arts centre, library, EIT learning centre, Taiwhenua offices, Council offices and more green and shared spaces to support gatherings and events.   


Why are we having this conversation? 

We have some fantastic civic and community facilities in Central Hawke’s Bay. We are also facing some big decisions on the future of some of our buildings that require major investment and strengthening, including the Central Hawke’s Bay Municipal Theatre, the Waipukurau Memorial Hall and the Waipukurau Library – which are earthquake prone despite expectation that two had been strengthened. We are outgrowing the Council Administration Building as our District grows also needs major investment and does not meet the needs of modern ways of working.  Collectively there is in excess of $6 million of investment required over the next ten years for Council’s core civic and community facilities with considerably more investment required over the remaining life of the assets.

We know many of our key community partners are also considering the future of their premises.  The Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) have purchased land and want to consider a long-term investment in Waipukurau.  Our Taiwhenua partners also need to make investment in their facilities to ensure they are fit for purpose for the future, and many government agencies also need facilities and space in the District.

Across New Zealand communities are rethinking the mix, form, and function of their civic and community facilities to make sure they are making wise, future proofed investment decisions. A popular trend is the concept of ‘hubbing’ to provide multi-purpose spaces that are flexible to meet the community’s needs. In part this is due to the large investment that these facilities require and the need to make sure that the community is getting best value from their investment in them. This often extends beyond Council functions into wider areas of community need, like health, social services and community meeting spaces. If we consider hubbing we will need to look at what is the right mix of activities and where they need to be for our communities.

From this work we want to understand and test the community’s appetite for investment opportunities in civic and community facilities and where we should be prioritising our investment.  In particular, we want to ensure we support and deliver on the vision completed in our early Town Centre Planning and the Integrated Spatial Plan; work that sets the tone for the future of Waipukurau and Waipawa.  


What does success look like? 

With the help of others, we’ve done some early thinking and think that success for the future of Civic and Community Facilities is to: 

  • Meet the needs of our communities and contribute to the way we connect contributing to our pride and our strength as a district.  

  • Look for ways to make sure the use of our current and future investment in civic and community facilities increases accessibility and relevance. 


Want to know more? 

To understand more about Civic and Community Facilities, what we are trying to achieve and who is involved, read our full Discussion Document on Civic and Community Facilities


Let us know your ideas? 

We’re still in the early phases of this work, however we are keen to hear your ideas to support Civic and Community Facilities in Tamatea - Central Hawke’s Bay.  You can do this by completing our online survey or emailing us on 


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