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Municipal Building

Opening early to mid-2022, the Municipal Building is the last piece of the Toitoi puzzle. The precinct development is an investment in cultural infrastructure. Council and the community consider the works a vital part of the cultural and economic revitalisation of Hastings.


The Municipal Building project is the final part of the Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Event Centre work programme. This also included the earthquake-strengthening and refurbishment of the Toitoi Opera House and redevelopment of the former Plaza into the multi-use space: Functions on Hastings.

The wider centre's development is an investment in cultural infrastructure and is considered a vital part of the cultural and economic revitalisation of Hastings City. Earthquake strengthening and interior redevelopment have been the two main stages of the Municipal Building project. The two streams go hand-in-hand.

Municipal Building done shot

Mid 2015: Ahead of public consultation to help find the best way forward for the Opera House, Plaza and Municipal Building an Independent Working Party (IWP) was established to formulate potential options for the wider precinct. The recommendations put to Council later that year included the need to find a new use for the Municipal Building that would justify the strengthening costs.

February 2017: The Municipal Building Working Group was established to inform discussions about the future use of the facility. This comprised members of the arts community, iwi and others closely involved with the facility, some over many years.

July 2018: Based on those in-depth discussions architects Matthews & Matthews Ltd, together with Dena Aroha Bach, presented draft concept designs for the Municipal Building to Council.

September 2018: Concept designs were presented to the community at a public meeting held at the Hastings City Art Gallery and published in the HB Today newspaper. The public was invited to add their voice to the conversation through a feedback form on the Hawke’s Bay Opera House website.

December 2018: Further community engagement through a ‘pop-up’ booth in the Hastings central city enabled further conversations with business associations, community and performing arts groups, developers, working group members and the public.


Feedback gathered from community engagement indicated a desire for a logical and fitting focus to be identified for the Municipal Building reflective of its history. It also needed to function as a companion to the Toitoi Opera House and Functions on Hastings.

Based on this community feedback, the following aspirations were established:

Integrated and future-proofed facility

Value for money community facility

  • Optimum use of external capital
  • Municipal Building and wider Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre is operationally sustainable

Multi-use facility

  • Enhances and showcases performing arts
  • Complementary events/conference space to Functions on Hastings
  • Provides pathways for youth
  • Enhances Toitoi users' experience
  • Showcases Ngāti Kahungunu and Takitimu performing arts

Based on this, a combination of commercial and community use most closely aligns with the project's goals and is Council's preferred option for the future use of the Municipal Building. This operating model also aligns with the Long Term Plan and will be achieved through a mixed model of commercial tenancy and public spaces.

The development of the Municipal Building will bring economic and social benefits to Hastings. It will be a centre for activities the whole community can enjoy, it will be a place we can all be a part of with a shared sense of belonging.

The ground floor will include a mix of retail tenants, alongside a newly created flexible space for arts and performance. Meanwhile, the first floor will be restored to its former glory, offering a selection of spaces for hire, suitable for groups from 10 to 250 - in a fully refurbished, category one historic building with modern technology options.

Opening early to mid-2022, the Municipal Building is the last piece of the Toitoi puzzle, so we're hunting out like-minded potential tenants for the ground floor for this remarkable heritage space. We want people and businesses who will infuse this space with creativity and passion. There are several tenancies available.  Stage One includes the following hospitality-focused opportunities:

183m² space at the western end of the Municipal Building

This beautiful space opens out to Heretaunga Street, a three metre-wide western laneway and Opera House laneway, so is the perfect spot to create an eye-catching contemporary, casual dining experience.

In 2022, a new 34-room Quest Apartment Hotel will open just metres away with no in-house dining.

61m² space on the corner of Heretaunga and Hastings Streets

This is no ordinary spot. With its proximity to Toitoi and the East 200 block of Hastings, this is a chance to be part of a community of game-changing business owners, who think creatively and strongly believe in the potential of this place. If that sounds like a bit of you, don't wait. Space at this end of town doesn't come up often . . .

33m² space directly off the Opera House laneway

Everyone knows the best spot for a great drink is often tucked away from view, and this lovely wee space lends itself to a complementary, distinct offering to its neighbouring restaurant. It's an opportunity to bring the laneway to life, while also making every customer feel like they've stumbled across Hastings' best kept secret . . .

Future opportunities

The catering contract for the wider Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre will be up for renewal in November 2022.

Stage Two will include up to a further five tenancies (see map below for detail) - contact us for expressions of interest for these spaces.

HDC Toitoi MuniBuildings Map 1

Click here to download the Municipal Building Prospectus

Flexibility around specifications and commercial arrangements, all subject to negotiation.

Contact: Bruce Allan Group Manager: Corporate

(06) 871 5019 | 027 767 4646 |

Or your local commercial real estate agent.

View a fly-through of the ground floor of the Municipal Building below:

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