War for Wa­haroa Hall rages on

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - ABBY BROWN

The bat­tle to save Wa­haroa Hall is con­tin­u­ing.

The Friends of Wa­haroa Me­mo­rial Hall still think they can save it, and they are also con­cerned about hav­ing the war me­mo­rial plaques that were housed there re­turned.

The group’s spokesper­son Caro­line Dib­ert said the four mem­bers, in­clud­ing of her­self, Lai Toy, Tracey Fawcett and War­ren Har­vey as a com­mit­tee could run it.

The Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Jenni Cochrane said coun­cil con­sulted with ratepay­ers over fund­ing re­pairs to the hall, 75 per cent did not agree to pay the in­crease for re­pairs.

‘‘This was one of the con­tribut­ing fac­tors in coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to close the hall, to­gether with a steady de­cline in its use,’’ she said.

‘‘We are cur­rently work­ing through the le­gal dis­posal process, which re­quires coun­cil to of­fer the hall back to its orig­i­nal own­ers. If they do not want the hall, it will be put up for sale, at which point any groups or com­mit­tees with an in­ter­est in the hall could pur­chase it.’’

The Friends of Wa­haroa Me­mo­rial Hall think they could vi­ably have the hall re­paired.

The coun­cil said it would cost $32,000.

‘‘I don’t know where they got that from; we have had two quotes for re­pairs for $5000.’’

Har­vey wanted to see proof in the form of an en­gi­neer’s re­port.

‘‘If some­one came to your house and said it needed re­pairs you would ask for more proof.’’

Cochrane said no en­gi­neer’s re­port had been un­der­taken, how­ever, this would be very un­usual for a roof.

‘‘The roof has been in­spected by a build­ing con­trol of­fi­cer, coun­cil’s prop­erty main­te­nance of­fi­cer and a quote for re­pairs was sought from a lo­cal com­pany.’’

The group ques­tioned why the plaques, com­mem­o­rat­ing the four lo­cal men who died in World War I and the other list­ing the 74 district men who served in World War II, had to be taken out of the hall.

Cochrane said the plaques were be­ing stored at Firth Tower for safe keep­ing.

‘‘We will work with the RSA to de­ter­mine where the plaques should be dis­played to best hon­our th­ese fallen sol­diers.’’ There has been six bur­glar­ies in the last week. A chain­saw and two moun­tain bikes were taken from a Sh­effield St prop­erty. A com­mer­cial premise on Arawa St has had three smash and grab style bur­glar­ies. Fish­ing gear and cray pots were taken from an El­iz­a­beth St prop­erty.

Friends of the Wa­haroa Hall, in­clud­ing War­ren Har­vey and Caro­line Dib­ert, pic­tured, want to save the hall.

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