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.
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
- Integrated with the Hastings City Centre Public Spaces Revitalisation Plan – additionality to other investment
- Key identified heritage features preserved/enhanced
- Flexible and adaptive design and spaces
Value for money community facility
- Optimum use of external capital
- Municipal Building and wider Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre is operationally sustainable
- 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 hospitality and 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.
Funding for final stages of Municipal Building renovation and streetscape upgrades
With the earthquake strengthening of the Municipal Building complete and other construction work underway, thoughts...
26 August 2021
Join Hawke’s Bay’s newest retail and hospo precinct
Hastings is humming with activity and nowhere is that more evident than at the CBD’s heritage Municipal Building ...
5 March 2021
Council considers next stage of Municipal Building development
The redevelopment of the Municipal Building in Hastings is progressing with earthquake strengthening work set to be...
11 September 2020
Lottery Grants Board gives $4.75m for Municipal Building
Work to strengthen and develop the historic Municipal Building has been given a significant boost with the Lottery ...
5 July 2019
Council approves Municipal Building earthquake strengthening
The Municipal Building is to undergo earthquake strengthening work following a recent council decision to approve t...
15 October 2018
Feedback sought on Municipal Buildings design concept
A major milestone has been reached for the redevelopment of the iconic Municipal Buildings with a concept design de...
16 August 2018
Big plans for Municipal Buildings
Light and space, with a focus on the performing arts in their broadest form, are at the heart of a proposal for the...
26 July 2018