Martinborough Town Hall Project

First Stage of Martinborough Town Hall Project Approved

Restoration and extension of the historic Martinborough Town Hall into a multi-purpose community hub has been approved in principle, subject to detailed cost estimates and sufficient community fundraising.

The proposal to strengthen the earthquake-prone building and extend it to house community services and activities including a library and a toy library was approved by South Wairarapa District Council last week following consultation on its annual plan.

The council agreed to a staged approach to the project, initially committing up to $325,000 to develop a detailed design and quantity surveyor’s costing.  This work would be complete by December when the council would decide whether to proceed to the next stage.

If the detailed building costs were in line with current high-level cost estimates, the project would apply for grant funding from a range of charitable trusts, which if successful, would see the project commence in earnest.

“Overall, public feedback received through submissions and public meetings was strongly supportive of the project,” South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples said.   “The efforts of the community through the Martinborough Town Hall Working Group have also been extremely encouraging with a public fundraising campaign already attracting almost $1 million in signed pledges.

“Based on this support, extensive work done by the Martinborough community already, and a council funding plan that has minimal impact on rates, it’s time to move this project forward.”

Mrs Staples said the rates impact would be limited to the cost of servicing a $900,000 loan to cover the cost of strengthening the building.  The council plans to contribute another $2.3 million to the building project through land sales and capitalisation of existing budget items into a loan, rather than funding it through rates.

“This is essentially swapping some of Martinborough’s existing assets for an exciting new asset which will serve the community well into the future,” Mrs Staples said.    

The balance of the building project, currently estimated to cost $5.2 million, would come from grants and public fundraising.

Further information from:

Paul Crimp
Chief Executive
South Wairarapa District Council
Phone:  06 306 9611


The Martinborough Town Hall is a heritage building built in 1912 and made of unreinforced masonry.  Falling well below current safety standards, it has been identified as an earthquake prone building under the current Building Act.

The proposed Martinborough Town Hall development would see the building strengthened, refurbished and extended to become a multi-purpose community hub, accommodating a range of community services.

These include the Martinborough Library which is currently in temporary premises, a toy library, and a range of other possibilities.

The high-level cost estimate for the town hall building project is $5.2 million.  SWDC would fund $3.2 million of this through a $900,000 loan for the strengthening work, land sales and capitalisation of existing rental income.  The remaining $2 million for the building would be raised through community grants and fundraising.

Streetscape and playground work is expected to cost an additional $1 million which would also come from community fundraising.

The Martinborough Town Hall Working Group was set up to develop plans for the refurbishment of the hall and raise funds from the community and funding organisations for this purpose.

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