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Motueka Community Hub concept and feasibility study

There have been lots of discussions since the 1970s about the lack in Motueka of a central town feature for both community and visitor use. The town developed as a strip town along the state highway, and core civic buildings were scattered around the area with little if any consideration of good urban design.

Early in 2012 Vision Motueka decided that this needed careful and concerted attention, and a group within it began research and some consultation about what buildings, facilities and spaces could go in a community hub and where it could most effectively be located.

First sub-project
Such a large project must involve several steps. The first aimed to gain community input into what a town hub could and should contain, and to assemble a steering group to begin the second sub-project. This was completed in September 2012 with a public hui at Top 10 Holiday Park conference centre where about 25 people offered ideas.

The definition agreed to describe the hub was: "A central community and tourism focus and meeting place for the Motueka area, incorporating a range of facilities that encourage community participation, provide quality information to visitors, and celebrate the area’s heritage, culture, community and attractions."

Second sub-project
The Vision-led steering group aimed to develop detailed proposals, including concept plans and drawings for one or more preferred sites; to present them to and work with council and other potential funders as concepts of great merit; and to establish the steps that need to be taken to begin the planning process, the timeframe, and research funding options.

This was essentially completed on February 12 2013, with the Community Board positively accepting the proposal, and the Council deciding to do further investigation into a new library and service centre complex as a first step of a hub. See the proposal put to Council here.

Late in 2013 the Council ran a working party to investigate how best to replace or upgrade the old existing library, which it agreed would be the anchor building for a hub. The working party compared four sites and concluded that the site proposed by Vision at Decks Reserve south end was best.

Third sub-project
After the local body election of 2013, the new council decided to drop the library project from the Annual Plan, and in mid-2014 it was pushed further ahead into year 5 or later in the draft Long Term Plan. The Community Board decided in September to form a joint working party withn Vision to advance the library and hub for earlier attention. Shortly after, TDC agreed to raise its contribution to a library up to $1.8m. It was decided that the local working party put all its efforts into ensuring that the $1.8m is fixed into the Long Term Plan, which was achieved in June 2015.

Fourth phase
By the end of 2016, with a new set of ward councillors elected who all strongly support the library/hub project, the plan is to work on advancing some pre-requisites for the hub development, including amending the Decks Reserve Management Plan to allow such buildings, and bringing a feasibility study and community consultation forward into the 2017-18 year, in both the 2017-27 Long Term Plan and the Annual Plan. This will allow work to begin on concept design and community fundraising.

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