Cen­tre project in pric­ing stages

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - LAWRENCE GULLERY

The fi­nal ne­go­ti­a­tions to build the new $6m Mata­mata Civic and Memo­rial Cen­tre are near­ing com­ple­tion but un­ease re­mains among some ratepay­ers and com­mu­nity lead­ers.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict coun­cil­lor Brian Hunter said the coun­cil was now in the pric­ing stages of the de­vel­op­ment and it was hoped to be com­pleted ‘‘fairly soon’’.

‘‘We are work­ing on weather we can fit the pric­ing into our bud­get, we are close but not at sign-off yet.’’

Hunter ac­knowl­edged there were still some peo­ple un­happy about the new civic cen­tre plans, as well as the planned de­mo­li­tion of the cur­rent civic build­ings.

‘‘With most is­sues there have been peo­ple for it, and peo­ple against how­ever coun­cil went to the pub­lic to get their opinion a few years ago and the gen­eral feel­ing was we should re­place the build­ings.

‘‘We’ve had the plans done, and then we went way and tweaked them. The plans are out there now, it’s a pub­lic doc­u­ment for peo­ple to see.’’

For­mer Mata­mata mayor Don Stan­ley said he had not looked at the plans ‘‘in any depth’’ but thought de­mo­li­tion of the cur­rent civic cen­tre and hall build­ings was ‘‘fun­da­men­tally wrong’’.

‘‘I think what coun­cil is propos­ing is the de­mo­li­tion of two per­fectly good build­ings to pro­vide for some­thing that it not much bet­ter.

‘‘The memo­rial cen­tre’s struc­ture is sound and needs some strength­en­ing to meet present-day stan­dards. A re­build with some im­prove­ments would be cheaper than $6m.’’

Stan­ley was on coun­cil from 1962-1989 and was mayor for one term. He said the re-de­vel­op­ment plans should also con­sider the pro­vi­sion for a sports sta­dium in Mata­mata.

‘‘The re­quire­ment of both fa­cil­i­ties should be looked at to­gether, to make sure they are not du­pli­cated.’’

On the sports sta­dium is­sue, Cr Hunter said a new events cen­tre in Te Aroha was about to open but there were no plans to ad­vance a sim­i­lar project, by the coun­cil at least, in Mata­mata.

That work, he said, was still be­ing led by Mata­mata Futures.

‘‘It’s not part of the coun­cil’s brief but we may be in­volved, or may not, I don’t know.

‘‘It would be nice to see that pro­gress­ing though, it has been on the back-burner for some time.’’

Pre­lim­i­nary de­signs for Mata­mata-Pi­ako Civic and Memo­rial Cen­tre, show­ing a view into the main en­trance.

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