Support for shaken band

PETRA FINER- TARANAKI STAR
Last updated 09:44 14/08/2014
Hawera Brass Band
PETRA FINER
Christine Cameron outside the Hawera Brass Band building, now cordoned off.

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South Taranaki Star

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The embattled Hawera Brass Band is losing its premises but gaining a new home, temporarily at least.

The band has until this Sunday, a deadline they've set for themselves, to move out of their Princes St, Hawera, premises.

A recent assessment found the building meets just 10 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS). As such, the facility has this week been cordoned off as a hazard and potential risk to the public.

Band chairwoman Christine Cameron said it was a devastating blow.

As they are without a musical director, she said the future was already unclear but the plan was to move onwards and, hopefully, upwards.

"Originally we thought that we would probably rebuild or buy a relocatable building or something," she said.

"But I think at the moment we just need to step back, take a breath and wait to see how the future of the band looks."

Cameron said it had been heartening to see the community step up and support the group.

Since news first broke in the Taranaki Star that the band's building was potentially unsafe, the group has been offered the use of six different halls while they work out what the future holds.

They've chosen to move in with the Hawera Pipe Band on a semi-permanent basis, Cameron said.

"They've got storage there for our gear and we're going to be able to rehearse there as well," she said.

"It's amazing how people will raise the level of support when they realise that something is actually in jeopardy and actually quite serious".

Cameron said the building was currently cordoned off to reduce risk to the public, and the plan was it would be felled on September 1.

"The future of the band is still very much in limbo but it's more positive than it was three months ago."

South Taranaki District Council building control manager Andre Phillips said the Engineers Report had confirmed the building is considered earthquake prone.

"The report says the building's brick parapets are at high risk of collapsing onto the footpath in the event of a moderate earthquake," he said.

"To ensure public safety council is arranging for the sections of footpath alongside the building (on Princes and Furlong streets) to be cordoned off."

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