Band brassed off

Building full of borer

LAIRD HARPER- TARANAKI STAR
Last updated 09:13 31/07/2014
Brass Band
Laird Harper
Hawera Brass Band chairwoman Christine Cameron says their future hangs in the balance.

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South Taranaki Star

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Hawera's Brass Band is refusing to go quietly into the night after a seismic report found significant deficiencies in its building.

An investigation, commissioned by the band, found the building had a seismic capacity of just 3 per cent of the new building standard (NBS).

All public buildings need to be at least 34 per cent of the NBS.

Band chairwoman Christine Cameron said the report was a significant body-blow as the club's future was now on a knife edge.

She said having just pulled the club out of a rut that saw the club struggle to find members, they were nothing short of "despondent".

"We work so hard to do concerts and raise enough money so we can pay our rates, gas bills and musical director, and then this goes and happens."

Cameron said it was a pivotal moment in the club's history and they would not go quietly into the night.

She said their only choice was to knock the building down, which could cost up to $18,000, and start again.

However, in the short term they needed to find a place to rehearse and store their gear because many members were unwilling to enter the building.

"Unless someone hands us a cheque for $250,000 I don't know what the long-term prospect will be.

"Obviously we are going to have to fun raise and work hard to secure some solid foundations again."

Cameron said no matter what their plan was they needed to get out of the building they had owned since 1979.

"We have to leave the building for the safety of ourselves and public liability," she said.

Cameron said the "beams were so full of borer" the engineer "wouldn't even touch one", and members of the public had seen the walls flex in a strong wind.

"With those two recent earthquakes the cracks on the exterior have also opened up."

Cameron said the building remained open to the public but they had hung a "enter at your own risk" sign.

South Taranaki District Council's building control manager Andre Phillips said they were yet to receive the report or see any of the recommendations contained within it.

"Once we have received a copy of their engineer's report, council will be in a position to advise the Hawera Pipe Band on possible options and actions going forward."

He said much like Everybody's Theatre in Opunake they will work with the group.

Cameron said there was a flicker of light at the end of the band's tunnel as they were currently going through the process of securing a new musical director. She said if it wasn't for that negotiation process all would be lost.

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