28 Nov 2019

Country hall most hit by Kaikōura quake set for $500k repair

10:07 am on 28 November 2019

A 1912 wooden hall in South Marlborough is to get a $500,000 overhaul.

The Ward Town Hall is the hub of the rural community.

The Ward Town Hall is the hub of the rural community. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

The Ward Town Hall, which was the hub of the rural community, was badly damaged in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

Senior GNS scientist Kelvin Berryman said the area was where greatest ground motion was recorded.

Residents in the small rural town, including farmers Tom and Angela Loe, were left with severely damaged buildings and land.

Marlborough District Council agreed yesterday to repair and upgrade the town hall for $564,440.

Around two thirds of the repair funds will come from the council's emergency events reserve.

Wairau-Awatere Ward Councillor Cynthia Brooks said it was great news.

"Ward has been through some tough times with earthquakes in 2013 and 2016. The community lost their pub, museum and water storage - and its hall was going to be closed unless this money was found," she said.

The remainder of the repair budget would come from a variety of sources.

The Sutherland Trust has offered $50,000; another $50,000 would come from the mayoral earthquake fund, and $99,631 would come from the Lottery Earthquake Fund.

Another $62,657 would come from the insurance claim, Mrs Brooks said.

She said the council's Small Townships Programme was helping the local community through a process to identify other improvements for the town.

Work on the hall was expected to start in the new year.