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Community Halls

The Future of Community Halls

Icon CommHallsCommunity halls are located at the heart of our communities, providing places for many different activities including community gatherings, arts, culture, recreation, celebrations and learning.  Many of our halls are between 40 and 100 years old and are the result of local community fundraising efforts.  

We’re doing some thinking and planning ahead for the future of our facilities like Community Halls, so we can understand the future demand, investment and approach we need to take to secure their future. 


Why are community halls important? 

Community halls contribute to building strong, healthy and vibrant communities and creating connections within our villages, towns and district.   

Our community place a lot of value on having these facilities located in their local area and in many rural communities, are all that remain of once bustling rural settlements, often reflecting the historic values of the area.  In some rural communities, other than roading, community halls are also the only recognisable service that Council provides. 


Why are we having this conversation? 

Council and community collectively own, fund and operate 13 community halls that provide a range of benefits and opportunities to their respective communities.  

Additionally, to this, there are other community halls such as the Waipawa Senior Citizens Hall, Waipukurau Freemasons Hall and other community halls such as the Takapau Scouts available for use and funded by the community rather than Council.

In 2011, Council made a shift to not fund major work on some halls, pushing this back to communities and seeking to fund smaller operational grants to those community halls only.  Many community halls need major investment and over the next 20 years this investment requirement will continue to increase, despite some halls having very low levels of use.

Community Halls are run by passionate community members who often have very articulate plans for the future of their hall, and clear ideas about how to improve its sustainability for the future.  This comes however with a backdrop of increased costs and responsibilities includes insurance, electricity, and compliance with regulatory and health and safety requirements.  

Community expectations also continue to increase, making many community halls not fit for purpose or relevant to the needs of today’s community.  Like most Sporting Clubs, identifying volunteers to support the operation of community halls is also becoming increasingly difficult.

Through this work we want to understand what the future liability and costs are ahead for our community.  We also need to gain clearer direction on Councils ongoing role in community halls and where Council support and participation starts and finishes and what other support or leadership (if any) Council should be providing to other community halls – such as the Takapau Scouts Hall. 


What does success look like? 

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

  • Provide active and vibrant places for our community to meet, play, laugh and learn. 

  • Ensure Community Halls are inclusive, fit for purpose and flexible to cater to different and changing needs over time. 

  • Be reflective of the local community; people, culture and history.  


Want to know more? 

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


Let us know your ideas? 

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


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