The day began with karakia from kaumatua, Peter Jackson, speeches and unveiling of a plaque. The formal public opening was attended by about 400 people, including former Lower Hutt mayors, David Ogden and John Terris, and MP for Hutt South, Chris Bishop and list MP, Ginny Anderson.
Deputy Mayor and chair of the Civic Precinct steering group, David Bassett spoke of his pride and satisfaction in a project which began in 2010. He said while the decision to refurbish and strengthen the Town Hall and demolish the Horticultural Hall was difficult, he believes it is the right one. “Clearly, cost was a key factor in deriving a decision, but equally important was the need to identify just what the community needed in such key community facilities, not only in immediate terms, but also for the future. To give you some feel for the interest in these facilities, as of today, we already have bookings through to 2021,” Mr Bassett said.
Lower Hutt Mayor, Ray Wallace spoke about Hutt City Council’s strategy to develop world-class facilities to encourage growth and investment in the city, and provide increased social and recreational opportunities for our residents. “We are investing in a programme of work across the city including new community hubs, new and upgraded sport and recreation facilities and, importantly, the redevelopment of our Civic Precinct, the heart of our city. This has been some time in the making, with the development of the Dowse Square, the redevelopment of the Council administration buildings and the surrounding Riddiford Garden, which are due to be completed very soon,” Mr Wallace said.
Mr Ramin Sarin, founder and Chairman of Sarin Investments and Commercial Assets Ltd, who will be managing the complex under contract for the Council also spoke at the opening before Mr Wallace and Mr Bassett unveiled a plaque which will be placed on the outside of the Town Hall.
Several thousand people wandered through the complex enjoying free entertainment including music, kapa haka, Japanese drumming, circus acrobats and dance groups in the Town Hall, Atrium and new Events Centre during the opening day on Saturday (14 July).
Mayor Ray Wallace (wearing Wallace tartan) and Deputy Mayor David Bassett with the plaque commemorating the opening.
Published: 16 July 2018