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City Centre update - June 2022

assembly ballroom


For the first time this year we are celebrating the new public holiday for Matariki, and in addition to other events happening across the region, Hastings District Council is supporting a three-day festival of events in Hastings.

Huddle around the “welcome fires” and hear the stories of Nga Pou o Heretaunga whilst watching the Matariki stars digital light show. Enjoy music, dance and kai at the Matariki Feast, remember loved ones at the Pools of Matariki, join the lantern parade or simply pause, breathe and connect with our Māori culture, people and places.

For more info on all the events go to

Toitoi Municipal Building official opening

The Toitoi Municipal Building will be officially opened the first weekend of August with plenty for the community to get involved in and celebrate the occasion.

On Saturday, August 6, a powhiri on Heretaunga St in the morning will be followed by a community open day, accompanied by performances in the Assembly Ballroom, where the day will wrap up with a First Dance event.

On Sunday, August 7 there will be another community open day and people will the chance to join historical tours of the building.

Keep an eye on the Toitoi and Hastings District Council websites and social pages for more details closer to the time.


The fun starts now …

While the whole Municipal Building won’t be officially opening until August, we don’t have to wait to enjoy what’s on offer with the new tenants starting to open their doors from July.


The new look Hastings i-SITE and Visitor Information will open on July 4, and will be a place for visitors and locals to go and find out what’s happening in Hastings and wider Hawke’s Bay throughout the year.
Offering information through a mix of digital, interactive and traditional methods, the Hastings i-SITE is innovative and unique (and unlike any other regional information centre) so well worth a visit.

The i-SITE will also incorporate the Toitoi-Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre Box Office, selling tickets to events at Toitoi, and other venues and locations around the country, so for those that prefer to talk to someone face-to-face about event tickets, they just need to pop in and talk to the experts.

Ākina Gallery

Ākina means to encourage and urge on, which is what owner Sacha van den Berg (Ngāti Kahungunu, Cook Island, Dutch) intends to do for the artists represented in her new contemporary gallery space. Ākina is also where she grew up – in Ākina St, just a stone’s throw from the Municipal Building.

A celebration of the best of Hawke’s Bay, and those with connections to this rohe, Sacha says Ākina will focus on toi Māori, Te Moana Nui a Kiwa, and indigenous art, but not be limited to it. “Ākina will be a mix of curated shows and object art with a very intentional approach to its relationships – both with our artists and those who choose to buy work.”

Cellar 495

Cellar 495 is the brainchild of local Master of Wine, Michael Henley. The name comes from Michael’s Master of Wine number – he is the world’s 495th Master of Wine.

Envisioned as a boutique wine cellar and bar, Cellar 495 will offer its visitors a wine-focused hospitality experience. A tasting room and bottle shop by day, and a wine bar by night, Cellar 495 aims to demystify wine by offering access to the expertise of Mr Henley, who has spent his life surrounded by the world’s best wines.

Craft & Social

Craft & Social live and breathe hospitality, and can’t wait to present their flavour-driven small plates to share – a similar vibe to well-known celebrity chef Al Brown’s Depot Eatery in Auckland.

Check out these menu teasers to get your mouth watering in anticipation: 

·         Fried prawns, sweet chilli Jam, wakame & black sesame

·         Coconut & lemongrass chicken salad, cucumber, pickled ginger, candied nuts

·         Beef Randang, toasted coconut, sticky rice, crispy shallots

·         Angus Beef & Swiss cheese sliders, chipotle mayo & iceberg


Long Island Delicatessen

Long Island Delicatessen will be a takeaway deli with a focus on fast, healthy food on the corner of Heretaunga and Hastings St (in the former Hutchinson’s site).

With a 4.5m long island counter at its centre, hence the name, owner Kristy Isaacson says visitors can expect a huge salad bar, plenty of protein choices and Ottolenghi-inspired food.


Hastings City Centre outdoor dining and seating upgrades

  • Heretaunga Street East 300 block: Construction is well underway and on schedule for completion by July 1. The design includes new outdoor areas for tenancies in the Municipal Building, new lights, trees and planter boxes.
  • Pocket Park (corner Heretaunga and Warren) – new public seating area due for completion by July 1.
  • Queen Street East 200: The pavement works on the corner of Karamū Rd and Queen St will be completed in July, following the completion of the Heretaunga Street 300 streetscape upgrade.
  • Eastbourne Street East 300 block: This street enhancement, scheduled to start in August 2022, will complete the Eastbourne Street East street upgrade between Hastings Street and Warren Street. New footpath paving, street lights and rata trees will complete the visual link between the Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre and the Hastings Art Gallery and Library.
  • Planning will commence later in the year for the next streetscape upgrade – King Street, between Queen and Eastbourne.


Ongoing activities at Council

Hastings City Art Gallery

Terminus: by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward, Now – Oct 24

Cellular Memory: Elizabeth Thomson, Now - August 7

Te Pō Uriuri: Poutu Puketapu, Now - August 28

Check the Hastings City Art Gallery website for more details.

Hastings District Libraries

 The Friends of Hastings District Libraries Book Sale will be held from Thurs 7 – Sat 9 July at the Hastings Library.

 The Winter School Holiday activities will be held between 9-24 July and include Movie Mornings, Makerspaces, and Escape Room, Mario Kart IRL and more! See for more details or pick up a programme guide from your library.

For more information and other events check the Libraries events calendar Check the Hastings District Libraries website to find out more.

20 June 2022

Back to City Centre Revitalisation

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