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Foxton War Memorial Hall Society sees transfer as best option to save the treasured building

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The future of Foxton’s War Memorial Hall will soon be decided.

The Foxton War Memorial Hall Society Incorporated has taken the opportunity to have another go at obtaining and thus saving Foxton’s War Memorial Hall.

Society members refuse to believe it will be as difficult or expensive as the council makes out, , although their proposals for saving the hall for community use have been rejected as insufficient, after years of trying.

As part of its Long Term Plan consultation, the Horowhenua District Council is again seeking feedback on the fate of the hall.

It is offering three options:

  1. The council retaining and upgrading the hall;
  2. Selling the hall on the open market;
  3. Transferring the building to a community organisation.

The society favours the third option because it believes that to be the best way forward for the entire district.

Read More:

Foxton committee to save its Memorial Hall against all odds – NZ Herald

Horowhenua council to further consult on decision to sell Foxton’s War Memorial Hall – NZ Herald

Trust formed to save Foxton War Memorial Hall from demolition – NZ Herald

Society envisioned to save Foxton’s War Memorial Hall with council funding – NZ Herald

Group vows to save Foxton War Memorial Hall – NZ Herald

Horowhenua District Council to dispose of Foxton War Memorial Hall – NZ Herald

Its proposal is signed by its executive committee: Nola Fox, Brett Russell, David Roache, Lorna Smith, Sue-Ann Russell, and Tony Robinson.

In support of its proposal, the society points out the land and buildings were gifted as a war memorial and community centre. A signed agreement verifies this, saying the land title was to be held by successive councils in “all perpetuity”.

Also on the record is the fact that the community raised 6000 pounds for that purpose, a sum matched by the Government of the day.

The society also said it was amazed that the earthquake reports from 2014 had been ignored when it came to the War Memorial Hall, but accepted when it came to the Old Courthouse, which is now being fixed, following more investigations done recently. The 2014 reports were done by the same company.

“The council knew about the earthquake situation in 2014 and did nothing until it decided to put the building on the disposal list in 2019, as a non-core asset. They have a moral and ethical duty of care in maintaining this building,” said the society’s submission.

The society also claimed the council had never done a big visibility consultation about the future of the hall, though it had been part of the Long Term Plan consultation for years.

“A desktop analysis is not a full in-depth structuring engineering report and the council have no expert report on the actual situation and what might be required.

“Figures provided by the council are best guess, with no expert report to back them up, whereas current consultation based on the 2014 report says a possible 300 per cent increase – that would take work to $700,000, not $1.5 million to $2m – these are scare tactics,” the submission said. It also said the growing community would need a hall like this in the future, for large events.

The society’s contribution to the current Long Term Plan also said recent changes in requirements for earthquake strengthening could mean the need for a much lower standard and this also allowed for more time to bring any building up to standard.

The society has obtained letters in support, some of which suggest the transfer to the society as their preferred option, from RSA Levin (president Waye Kaye), Kyra Ann Byne, RSA Foxton (president David Roache. eight executive committee members and its patron), returned serviceman John Morton, Tony Robinson Motors Ltd (Tony Robinson), Wildlife Foxton Trust (Dave Coles, trustee).

The annual costs of maintaining the hall are $18,467.08. In the past five years, the hall has been hired fewer than 100 times. It is not yet known how many people have submitted on this issue.

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