Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Urgent job to repair quake risk Huntly hall

Urgent structural work is being done on the Huntly War Memorial Hall after a report found the building would not withstand a moderate earthquake.

The Waikato District Council has released the list of earthquake-prone buildings which have been inspected and require work after six weeks of stalling and multiple requests from the Herald since May.

This includes an overdue Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request which the council failed to respond to within the required time frame.

Work on the Huntly War Memorial Hall in Wight St will be carried out this year with money already in the budget.

The Herald understands the building was built in the late 1960s.

Huntly Line Dancers instructor Dawn Wood holds classes at the hall every Monday morning, and said the group would be left in the lurch if it was closed during repairs.

Ms Wood said she went into the council to pay the hire fee yesterday and was not told about the building's structural problems.

The line dancers are one of the more frequent users of the hall, which is also used by the Huntly Bird Club, a badminton group and a youth group.

The back of the Raglan office and library also needs reinforcing but consulting engineer John Dale had no concerns about public safety and the building will continue to be used.

Council chief executive Gavin Ion said: "Raglan residents will continue to be able to access all council and library services from our Bow St building. We will carry out further work to better understand the options for the rear area."

The third building investigated - the Huntly Civic Centre in Huntly's Main St - was passed.

Meanwhile, the Ngaruawahia Library remains closed after the structural engineering report revealed it could collapse in an earthquake.

The library's services have been relocated to the council's head office in Galileo St while it finds a temporary building.

The council did not respond to further questions regarding the cost and time frame for repairs.

- NZ Herald

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