The Kūaotunu Hall is fully subscribed for weddings from 1 February 2024 until 30 April 2024
The Kūaotunu Hall is officially known as the Kūaotunu Centennial Memorial Hall. The hall's building and land are owned by the Thames-Coromandel District Council on behalf of the Kūaotunu community, and the hall has a Category 2 listing with the NZ Historic Places Trust.
On the 28th of February 1939 a public meeting was held in Kūaotunu to discuss how to celebrate the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1940. The meeting agreed to form the "Kūaotunu Centenary Celebrations Committee" in order to decide how to spend the princely sum of £10 which the Kūaotunu community had been awarded to fund the celebration of its centenary.The newly formed committee decided that the memorial should be "a social hall incorporating a library".
The Centenary Committee quickly identified that the infants' room of the Kūaotunu School (which no longer exists) was not being used and would make a perfect hall/library. This room had been built as an addition to the school circa 1896/1897. The school peaked at 136 pupils in 1897, but as a result of the gold mining activity in the area drying up, its roll had dwindled to only a few pupils by the end of the 1930's.
The Auckland Education Board subsequently approved the shifting of this room to its present site in the Kūaotunu village for use as a hall and a library.
The shifting of the hall in 1940 to its new location was a huge community undertaking and was achieved by transporting sections of the building at a time, using Mr R. A. Simpson's horses and dray. The building was then re-assembled by Mr Walter Turner with the assistance of many other residents.
Major alterations in the early years of the hall's life in its present location included the addition of a lean-to extension on the south side of the building in the 1950's, the addition of a ramp and balustrading to the entrance steps, and the addition of a storeroom at the back (a project undertaken by the Kūaotunu Fire Brigade in the 1990's).In 2013 a major restoration project was embarked on, starting with the upgrade of the kitchen and toilets, following which major landscaping was undertaken to develop a useable outside area.
This project was followed by the replacement of the kauri floor in 2017, together with the upgrading of the ramp to meet health & safety requirements.
The most recent project in 2020 involved replacing the original corrugated iron cladding on the south and east side of the hall with the same wooden cladding as on the rest of the building.
Not only was the room in the hall that housed the Kūaotunu library very small, the need to keep the hall locked at all times meant that there was very limited access to those members of the community who wished to access the library.
During the AGM of the Kūaotunu Residents and Ratepayers Association on 16 April 2017, it was decided that a library committee should be formed to investigate the development of a library that could be accessed 24/7.
The Kūaotunu Library Committee, made up of a group of volunteers, was formed after the meeting and not only identified dilapidated changing and storage rooms in the toilet block at the Kūaotunu Domain as the preferred site for a new library, but also negotiated a $30,000 grant from the Kūaotunu Domain Board for the development of the library.In December 2018 the library was successfully moved to its new home where it has been very popular and hugely increased its membership. The small room in the hall that had housed the library is now utilised as a storeroom, which has freed up space in the larger storeroom at the back of the hall.
The 62 names inscribed on the the WW1 Roll of Honour housed in the Kūaotunu Hall are those of the men and women from the local Kūaotunu community who served in the Great War of 1914-1918, many of whom lost their lives in active service. Over time this valuable historic document had become severely degraded, and in 2013 the Kūaotunu community raised its concerns about the state of the banner with the Kūaotunu Hall Committee.The Hall Committee subsequently commenced a restoration project, which involved the upgrading, insulating and waterproofing of the wall on which the Roll of Honour hangs, to ensure its future preservation in a dry environment.The Roll itself was then expertly restored by a paper conservator from the Auckland Art Gallery. The Roll's oak frame was also restored at the same time.
The Kūaotunu Hall Committee would like to acknowledge the generous financial support from the local community and the Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee of the Lottery Grants Board which enabled this project to be undertaken.
The Kūaotunu Football Club banner is another historic artefact that the Kūaotunu community was anxious to preserve for future generations.Dating from 1891, it was one of the first items in New Zealand to show the silver fern on a black background. It's original frame could not be saved, but in 2015 the banner itself was carefully restored by a specialist Art Conservator and now hangs proudly in the hall, in a new frame.
The Kūaotunu Hall Committee would like to acknowledge the generous financial support from the local community and the Mercury Bay Community Board which enabled this project to be undertaken.
Four of the historic photos that are displayed on the walls of the Kūaotunu Hall
For many years various photos of Kūaotunu from the early gold-mining days have been displayed on the walls of the Kūaotunu Hall.
In 2020 the Kūaotunu Hall Committee undertook a project to improve the display of these photos, so that instead of each photo being individually hung (some of which were of relatively poor quality) the photos are now grouped together on backing boards. Both the number of photos and their quality has also been improved.
If you would like to view these photos on the wall of the hall (there are 38 altogether), please contact the Hall Committee who will be pleased to arrange a time for you to access the hall for this purpose.
The Kūaotunu Hall Committee would like to sincerely thank Ian Patrick for his expertise and assistance with this project.
The photos below show some of the other artefacts and memorabilia that are displayed in the Kūaotunu Hall. If you would like to view these in person please contact the Hall Committee who will be pleased to arrange a time for you to access the hall for this purpose.
The Kūaotunu Hall Committee is responsible for managing the hall on behalf of the Thames-Coromandel District Council and the Kūaotunu community.
The committee is a not-for-profit organisation and is a registered charity. All committee members are volunteers from the Kūaotunu community.
The committee usually has 8-9 members, and committee meetings are held on a regular basis (every 6-8 weeks). The Annual General Meeting is usually held in October or November.
The Kūaotunu Hall Committee:
prioritises and supports the hall's use by local users and community groups;
promotes the hall as a venue for weddings and other events (these provide significant revenue which enable the Committee to undertake larger maintenance projects);
undertakes and supports fundraising activities for the maintenance, repair and preservation of the hall; and
protects and provides a repository for local artefacts and memorabilia that the Committee deems of significance.
Carrie Parker (Chair)Kim Crosland (Secretary)Kathy Speirs (Bookings Manager/Treasurer)John ThorburnHarriette BrickellMaxine McRobbieJo MullinsJude WicksWaling Kakebeeke
Please complete the form below if you would like to get in touch with the Hall Committee:
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