Opera House submissions flood in

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Hawke's Bay Opera House and Municipal Buildings, Hastings.
Hawke's Bay Opera House and Municipal Buildings, Hastings.

More than 3000 submissions on the future of the Hawke's Bay Opera House have been received - the most Hastings District Council has received on any one particular issue using the submission format.

The council said in a statement this aftertoon that staff would collate the submissions in preparation for a Council meeting to be held over April 5 to 7.

"Those who wish to address Council on their submissions will be heard on one of those days, most likely the 6th," the statement said.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said he was very pleased with the response.
"It is a big decision and we want a clear direction from the public. Having this many people engaged in the conversation means we should get that."

The statement said the council used as many avenues as possible to get the message out that submissions were welcome over the six weeks from February 13 to March 29.

"Social media, print media, radio advertising, letters to ratepayers and interest groups, billboards and a dedicated website were among the elements. One of the biggest successes was the use of a quick response flyer that people could fill in easily and post back in a freepost envelope or drop into opinion boxes at council facilities across the district."

Mr Yule said they wanted to ensure that at the end of this process there was not a person in Hastings who did not know that a decision was coming and that we wanted as many people as possible involved.
" I really do think we have achieved that, and that belief has been confirmed by outside sources commenting on the breadth of the campaign," said Mr Yule.

In the consultation Council asked if the opera house should be strengthened and reopened, if the plaza should be fitted with a permanent roof to make it usable in all weathers, whether the public agreed that no strengthening should be carried out on the Municipal Building until more work had been done on finding a realistic use for it, and for general opinion on the overall Tihei Heretaunga strategy.

The report on the submissions will be on Council's website, under the 'meetings' tab, by April 1.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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