The new Bulls Community Centre is officially open.
"It is a stunning building and the views from the top floor are spectacular," Rangitīkei mayor Andy Watson said.
"The acoustics in the building are also magnificent."
The official opening of the $8.2 million building on Friday evening included a performance by opera singer Olga Shanina and a surprise performance by Government minister Nanaia Mahuta.
"She sang her own waiata which sounded incredible and gave us all goosebumps," Watson said.
"It was a special part of a special evening."
Despite delays caused by plan changes, Covid-19 restrictions and a $2 million budget blowout announced in March this year, the project which began in December 2018 is now complete and a community celebration was held at the new centre on Saturday.
Bulls Beats and Bites included live music and entertainment as well as food and coffee carts, a sausage sizzle and bouncy castle.
"People were really excited to get inside and have a look around," Watson said.
"You get a brilliant view of the stage from the second floor."
Watson said there were problems with the new lifts in the building.
"That was the only downside which I believe is just a teething problem which the lift company will soon sort out."
Watson thanked Architecture Workshop and W&W Construction for their great work and principle funders JBS Dudding Trust, the Dalrymple family, Farmland Foods, the Whanganui Community Foundation, John and Angela Turkington, the Four Regions Trust and Central House Movers.
He acknowledged Te Rūnanga O Ngāti Apa and Ngāti Parewahawaha for their work towards the centre and for the gift of the name for the whare - Te Matapihi.
He thanked carver Len Hetet for his beautiful craftsmanship and the stories told in his work.
Watson said that, although there were numerous people to thank, he singled out Mike O'Byrne of Central House Movers for donating a house that was placed on council land, renovated and sold for $382,000 to help fund the community centre.
Rangitīkei district councillor Jane Dunn has campaigned for the community centre since before she was elected.
Dunn said the completed building looked great.
"I'm so pleased because it guarantees that services will now stay in Bulls," she said.
Watson said it bodes well that he was approached by people inquiring about the availability of the venue for a wedding and a corporate function during the opening.
He said that, although there were people who opposed the project, he was certain that most in the community were thrilled to see it completed.