The council issued a statement on Wednesday confirming the decision after the building was found to be unsafe and repairing was not a feasible option.
HDC purchased the showgrounds in April this year, following overwhelming community support for the purchase.
“In October this year, a building assessment showed significant damage to the grandstand’s roof, meaning the building was deemed unsafe and the tenants evacuated,” the council statement said.
“Following an analysis of the benefits and risks of repairing the building, in consultation with current tenants, the decision has been made to demolish the building. Council will now go to tender to contract a demolition contractor.”
HDC strategy and recovery committee chair Wendy Schollum said no decisions had been made about what might replace the building yet and options would be discussed with the park’s stakeholders.
“Subsequent investigations have shown the roof and public seating areas are unsound, and demolition is the most prudent course of action both to protect the safety of the public and as the most cost-effective solution,” Schollum said.
Horse of the Year event manager Sophie Blake said that while they were naturally disappointed that the grandstand seating could not be used, they understood the decision made by council.
“We believe that change brings opportunities, and we will make the most of this situation by finding alternatives that provide the same unique experience and atmosphere that our event is known for,” Blake said.
Hawke’s Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society general manager Elisha Milmine said she understood the decision.
“While the society is saddened by the loss of the legacy and history that the grandstand embodies, we understand the deconstruction decision was made with the safety of the community and all showgrounds users at the forefront, to allow the Tōmoana Showgrounds to be used for generations to come,” Milmine said.