21 March 2014

HBOH LOGOHastings District Council has this morning closed the public venue spaces of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House Municipal Building based on indicative engineering advice received last night. This follows the closure of the Opera House theatre earlier this month.

Mayor Lawrence Yule says “Council took the prudent approach earlier this month to close the Opera  House Theatre after preliminary engineering advice suggested that it was earthquake prone. This has now been confirmed in a written report and the theatre will remain closed to the public.”
Lawrence Yule says “The preliminary information now received on the Municipal Building indicates that it is also earthquake prone. Council has made the decision to immediately close the venue to public events. This again is a prudent approach and will give Council staff the opportunity to work through the full implications of the report and how we can progress from here.

“Council has worked through a systematic process to determine the earthquake status of the buildings and I again stress that this is preliminary advice ahead of a peer review of the reports. The Opera House is iconic to Hastings and retaining this much loved and significant heritage building remains a priority for Council,” Lawrence Yule says.
Opera House CEO Christine Spring says “The closure of the Municipal Building will obviously have an impact on the events that have been booked into these particular spaces. We are working through this with affected hirers to achieve the best practical outcome. Opera House staff have been informed of the closure this morning and they will continue to be employed while we await further peer review work on the engineering reports.”

Miss Spring went on to say that the current facilities of Opera Kitchen, Ticketek, Dish and HB Winegrowers are unaffected at this time.

Importantly, tomorrow night’s performance of Bill Haley Jr and The Comets has been relocated to the Lowe Family Performing Arts Centre at Lindisfarne College, Hastings.
(Click here for Location Map).
Ticketek are currently contacting all ticket holders for this event, however current tickets will be honoured at the Performing Arts Centre. Any queries or requests for refunds should be directed to Ticketek on 0800 4TICKETS.

While Council is continuing to work through the implications of this advice with Hutchinsons Furnishers, who are a tenant of the building. Hutchinsons management has indicated they will continue to operate from their current location.

The reports will be peer reviewed and we expect to have that process completed by mid to late May. Council has already budgeted funds in the 2014/15 year to undertake design work to enable structural deficiencies to be addressed.