Years of U-turns and controversy over the future of a fire-damaged sports pavilion has ended with the building's demolition this week.

The Kerikeri Domain pavilion was damaged in an arson attack in mid-2016 and has been boarded up ever since, though the floodlights and changing rooms were still used for rugby league.

The two-storey facility was built about 50 years ago as a home for the town's rugby and squash clubs.

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Rugby moved to the new Kerikeri Sports Complex in 2009 but the squash club has been homeless since the blaze. The pavilion was also used by dance groups and a youth drop-in centre.

The building was insured but the final payout was delayed while the councillors flip-flopped over the pavilion's future, with former councillor Dave Hookway leading the charge in 2017 to have the building repaired.

That decision was reversed in 2019 with council staff saying structural damage made reinstating the building too costly.

The expected insurance payout for rebuilding the pavilion was $490,000. It is not known how much will be paid out following demolition.

Some of the remaining cash, along with council and squash club funds, will be spent helping the club build new premises at the Heritage Bypass complex. The club co-owned the pavilion until signing it over to the council in 2009.

Demolition is due to be completed by March 20 after which topsoil will be laid and grass seed applied. A new multi-use facility may be built at the Domain at some future date but there are no firm plans as yet.

Two teenage boys were referred to police Youth Aid in relation to the fire.