Source: Far North District Council
Removing a pavilion at Kerikeri Domain will help to create a better public space and realise opportunities identified by the community in a newly-adopted reserve management plan for the Domain.
The Far North District Council-owned pavilion, which includes two squash courts, changing rooms, clubrooms and other community facilities, was closed in June 2016 after a deliberately-lit fire left the structure unsafe to use. In August 2017, the Council agreed to rebuild the pavilion and gave Kerikeri Squash Club, a key tenant of the building, the right to add two further squash courts to the site. However, detailed investigations later revealed that the structure had been more seriously damaged than thought. Among other issues, engineers found that all steel ceiling supports above the squash courts needed to be replaced and that sections of the court floors were damaged.
Chief Executive Shaun Clarke says this significantly complicated the rebuild. A detailed engineering assessment of the structure was made following the 2017 decision to rebuild. That revealed the true extent of fire damage and the significantly increased cost of the planned rebuild. At the same time, the building had deteriorated and posed a safety risk to the public. Councillors voted at their 27 June meeting to end the uncertainty about the pavilion’s future and demolish the building along with the grandstand. The work will be publicly tendered and begin before Christmas.
Mr Clarke says the pavilion has become a barrier to improving the Domain and advancing the interests of the Kerikeri Squash Club. Removing the pavilion and grandstand will improve connectivity and help to create a better public space. It will also allow the realisation of opportunities in a reserve management plan the Council adopted in June after extensive consultation with the community. These opportunities include developing a multi-use facility that caters for a range of group activities.