Buildings must be protected
A member of the Matamata History Society has reluctantly conceded the town’s memorial centre needs to be demolished.
Joan Stanley said she understood the centre, borough council building and library did not meet tough building standards upgraded after the Christchurch earthquakes but hoped the history of the buildings would be recorded and shared for the public to see.
‘‘The history of the buildings especially the old borough council offices should be recorded and displayed in the new building.
‘‘The Roll of Honour of those Matamata people who served overseas in World War II should be kept and displayed in a prominent position too.’’
Matmata-Piako District Council plans to demolish the memorial centre, former borough council building and library, to construct a new $6m civic centre in its place on Tainui St.
Stanley said she could not comment on behalf of the Historical Society as she was no longer its secretary but was happy to speak as a member of the group, and as a person who has written or edited a number of history books about Matamata.
She said the main structure of the current Matamata Borough Council building was constructed in 1940 and was of historical value.
‘‘I would have liked to have had this incorporated in some way, at least the facade, in the new proposed civic building.
‘‘Also [she would have liked] the inclusion and protection of the cenotaph put up in 1926 in front of the original town hall on the apex of where Arawa St and Hetana St meet. This was moved to stand in front of the memorial centre when it was built in 1956.’’
Stanley said there are a number of other buildings around town which needed to be protected to ensure the character of ‘‘early Matamata’’.
‘‘The old Bank of NZ is the main one but many of the buildings should have their facades above the veranda preserved. There are also historic houses in the area.’’
More information and a copy of the plan for the new centre can be found on the council’s website: https://www.mpdc.govt.nz/projects/matamatapiako-civic-and-memorial-centre
The Bank of NZ building is an example of a building representing Matamata’s ‘earlier period’.