ISSUE
4/6

CAMBRIDGE

TOWN HALL

The Cambridge Town Hall is an iconic part of Cambridge’s story. The hall was built in 1909 and used as the town hall as well as borough offices. Over the last 100 plus years, the hall has served a diverse range of community needs.

The hall is a category two historic building owned by Council and recognised by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. This means it is recognised as a building with historical or cultural significance or value to New Zealand.

The hall is a focal point of Cambridge and Council wants to preserve it and make sure it is widely used in the future. Seismic (earthquake) strengthening was undertaken on the hall in 2000 to bring it up to required standards. 


WHAT WE ARE FACING NOW

Since the hall was built, Cambridge has grown from a town of 1500 to 16,000. The town and its amenities have grown, but the town hall has remained the same.

Today the hall is used sporadically, hosting up to 20 weddings a year as well as other functions. 

The hall’s shortcomings, including a lack of catering facilities and technical equipment, make it impractical for some events. Annual hireage fees fall well short of the costs needed to maintain the building. 

Since 2000, the building code and requirements around earthquake strengthening have changed. A recent assessment of the hall shows that while the building is still safe to use, it is recommended that to reduce any risk, further strengthening work is required.


LOOKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT 10 YEARS

The town hall plays an important role in the Cambridge community and we want to continue to maintain the hall and preserve it for many years to come. We also want to make sure the hall is used and celebrated a lot more than it is now and continues to be a community space for everyone to enjoy. 

We believe in the future, further earthquake strengthening of the hall is a must. We also believe that if we are going to do structural improvements, it is also a good time to look at how the hall could benefit from other improvements.

As we are in the very early stages of planning, we would like to use this draft 10-Year Plan as an opportunity to see what you think about the future of the hall.

THE

COSTS

At this stage, Council has set aside $4.4m in 2022-2024 (years 5 and 6 of the 10-Year Plan) to undertake further earthquake strengthening of the hall as well as make some improvements to the facility. 

Although it’s too early to know the exact costs, we believe $4.4m will be able to cover the earthquake strengthening as well as some internal improvements such as upgrading the kitchen, redecorating the Victorian room, re-doing backstage and general décor upgrades. It wouldn’t cover any major structural changes to the hall and if these were required, Council may need to partner with a commercial entity due to the high costs involved. 

Current operating costs for the hall are currently around $235,000 per year. Ongoing operating costs for our proposed option will be dependent on how the town hall ends up being used. Future running costs for an improved facility are not factored into the rates impact shown – but the total rates forecast do include provision for the current running costs.
The payment for the capital works (and interest expense) will be covered from district-wide funding. Any additional direct operating costs will be covered by Cambridge ward residents.

HOW THIS PROPOSAL WILL IMPACT YOUR RATES

This table gives you a rough idea of how much has been set aside in your rates bill to fund this proposal (for the capital costs only). This table shows the impact from 2024/25 which is after construction has been completed. The costs would be loan-funded and then repaid over 30 years by ratepayers.

 
Town Property type and value Average annual impact on ratepayers
(four year average)
Te Awamutu Residential $430,000 $7.05
Cambridge Residential $570,000 $7.12
Pirongia Residential $880,000 $14.42
Kakepuku Rural $7,100,000 $116.35
Maungatautari Rural $2,330,000 $38.19

THE OTHER

OPTION

The other option is to focus on earthquake strengthening work only. We estimate this work would cost around $2m. This would mean there would be no improvements made to the current facility.

This table gives you a rough idea of how much would be required for this second option. Again, the costs would be loan-funded and then repaid over 30 years by ratepayers.

Town Property type and value Average annual impact on ratepayers
(four year average)
Te Awamutu Residential $430,000 $3.09
Cambridge Residential $570,000 $3.08
Pirongia Residential $880,000 $6.33
Kakepuku Rural $7,100,000 $51.03
Maungatautari Rural $2,330,000 $16.75

IN

SHORT

Our Cambridge Town Hall is a precious asset for our district and we believe it deserves further investment to make sure it is the best facility it can be.

We would love your ideas on how you think the hall should function in the future.

WHAT DO

YOU THINK?

Do you support our proposal to preserve and protect the Cambridge Town Hall?
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Waipa District Council
Private Bag 2402,
Te Awamutu, 3840
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