Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre to close, rebuild prioritised in draft Long-term Plan
Kāpiti Coast District Council announced today that Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre will not reopen for community bookings and programmes, with the building closing due to ongoing weather-tightness issues.
Group Manager People and Partnerships Janice McDougall said recent assessments of the building showed it had continued to deteriorate and the Council was not confident the building would be safe to occupy over another winter.
“Te Newhanga holds a special place in our community and we know it has an important role to play in connecting people and organisations. Unfortunately we’ve now reached the point where our ongoing efforts to manage the building are not enough to maintain a safe and healthy environment for centre users. It is no longer fit for purpose.
“Recent invasive testing showed there is an increase in decay and unacceptable moisture levels within the building’s walls since the last time we tested. Our regular air quality monitoring shows this is having an impact on the air quality within the centre, which we anticipate will get worse once winter arrives.
“With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to close the centre until the building can be rebuilt or replaced,” said Mrs McDougall.
Mayor K Gurunathan said the Council was very aware of the gap created by the Centre’s closure, and has prioritised work to rebuild or replace the centre in the draft Long-term Plan 2021–41, which will be released for public consultation on 7 April.
“The Community Centre plays an important role in creating social connections, providing collaboration spaces and accommodating important community services. Council has allocated $5 million across the next two financial years for investigation, design and construction work on a fit-for-purpose Community Centre,” said Mayor Gurunathan.
“We will work with community and social groups and regular centre users to consider how a rebuilt or replaced centre can best contribute to our community’s wellbeing, what this means, and what it might include.
“Our current priority is to continue to support current tenants Kāpiti Foodbank and Volunteer Kāpiti to find new long-term premises for their vital services by the end of May.”
Mayor Gurunathan said the centre had been closed to community bookings in recent months due to ongoing uncertainty about the centre’s continued operations. Council were continuing to work with regular users and community groups to help them find new venues.
“Council staff are looking at community needs and whether the closure of Te Newhanga creates any gaps in community support services or facilities. This will include considering whether a temporary facility is needed within the town centre.”
See Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre for more information.