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Big weekend of Municipal Building re-opening celebrations

muni sign1

Pic: Richard Brimer

It’s here. After eight years, the last piece of the Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre puzzle is in place and the Municipal Building is officially re-opening.

Back in 2014, when the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, Plaza and Municipal Building were closed due to being earthquake-prone, Hastings District Council asked the community whether it supported making the investment to re-strengthen and refurbish the buildings.

The answer was a resounding “yes”, with around 3000 people making submissions in favour of preserving and enhancing this important part of Hastings district’s life and culture.

In February 2020, the Opera House and Plaza were re-opened as the Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Opera House and Functions on Hastings, and now the Municipal Building is also to re-open with a special weekend of celebrations for all to enjoy.

It’s been a $40 million investment to make these buildings that form part of this arts and culture precinct safe and instil them with new life.

They carry a rich history, one that has been honoured and enhanced for today and many years to come.



Saturday, August 6

Pōwhiri, 10am

The weekend kicks off with a pōwhiri to welcome our community home to the Toitoi Municipal Building. This very special ceremony will formally open the space and be your first opportunity of the weekend to see what's inside!

Meet outside the main entrance on Heretaunga St for a 10am start. Free entry, all welcome, no bookings required.

Community Open Day, 12pm – 2.30pm

The building will be open so you can explore all the nooks and crannies and see what’s changed – it’s pretty fancy! And there’ll be a range of pop-up performances from various community events throughout the day to keep you entertained.

Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

Kids Dance, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Led by Nerida Cortese and her son Jett, bring the kids in to learn cool dance routines, so they can really shake their tail-feathers. Spot prizes for best dancers and best dressed/costumes.  Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

Last Dance, First Dance, 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Winners of the Last Dance, First Dance competition will join us for the Toitoi Municipal Building’s “first dance”. The Hawke’s Bay Jazz Club Big Band will be on stage, playing all the classics for you to dance to. Take your own steps or follow along with dance instructor, Nerida Cortese.  Spot prizes for “best dancers” and “best dressed”. Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.


Sunday, August 7

Community Open Day, 10am – 3pm

The building will be open all day, so you can explore all the nooks and crannies and see what's changed - it's pretty fancy! Learn more about its history and imagine all the future events to come in this very special space for Hastings CBD.

Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

Michael Fowler: The History of the Municipal Building and Assembly Hall, 11am - 12pm

Join renowned Hawke’s Bay historian Michael Fowler as he gives an illustrated talk on the history of the Municipal Buildings and Assembly Hall.

Runs for one hour. Free entry, all welcome, no booking required.

8 August 2022

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