Eltham Municipal Building to undergo strengthening and restoration

A private developer has plans to earthquake strengthen and renovate the historic Eltham Municipal Building, helping preserve valuable heritage.

Eltham Municipal Building
The 1911 historic Eltham Municipal Buildingexpand/collapse

The new owner, Dean Martin says he understands the values of the building and its importance to the local community and is excited about giving the old building new life.

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga have been working for some time with the South Taranaki District Council on saving several heritage buildings throughout the district and exploring avenues for their adaptive reuse.

The Category 2 heritage listed building was built in 1911. However, following local government amalgamation in 1989 and due to the building’s size and age, community use of the building dropped away after that time. It was closed to the public in 2018 following a detailed seismic assessment which rated the building at only 8 percent of the New Building Standard.

A cost to strengthen was put at 1.7m. The Council decided in June 2020 to put the building up for sale on condition that the buyer had the intent and means to strengthen the building. The Council was delighted a sale had been achieved with a firm plan for strengthening and renovating the building.

Eltham Ward Councilors, Steffy Mackay, and Mark Bellringer said they were pleased they had found a developer with experience and a proven track record and have welcomed Dean to the Eltham community.

South Taranaki Mayor, Phil Nixon says it is a great outcome for Eltham and the local community will look forward to seeing progress to strengthen and refurbish this magnificent building.

- David Watt