Horowhenua District Council Civic Building
The Horowhenua District Council Civic Building was opened in 2007 by then Prime Minister Helen Clark. It replaced an old and no longer fit-for-purpose building known locally as the ‘Pink Palace’.
The building houses Council offices, meeting rooms and Council Chambers which are used for council and community events. In the event of a Civil Defence Emergency as a result of an earthquake, the building may not be available for use – instead Council will work with others to choose the best location to operate from.
More than seven years after it was built, two Councillors raised concerns about the building’s structural safety, largely because of visible cracks in some areas of concrete in the carpark underneath the building.
As a result, four engineering investigations of the building were undertaken and all four have concluded it is safe.
Two structural engineering reports, ordered by Council, were carried out – one in 2014 and one in 2016. Both found the building was structurally sound and safe to occupy. The 2016 report looked in detail at the concrete cracking issue, and concluded the cracks were the result of shrinkage and not a sign of structural failure.
In November 2016, Elected Members resolved that Council support the two independent reports that have stated the Council building is safe for occupancy and that no further ratepayers’ resources are to be invested in this matter.
In December 2016, the new Mayor of Horowhenua, Michael Feyen, privately funded another engineering report which also showed the building was safe. In 2017, the Mayor privately funded another engineering report which again concluded the building was safe.
Both Council-ordered engineering reports are available for consideration below.