The Hawke’s Bay Opera House was closed in 2014 after engineers found the 12-metre side walls of the theatre could collapse during an earthquake. Parts of the Opera House fell well short of national requirements to reach at least 34 per cent of the current Building Code.

An extensive public consultation was carried out in early 2016, asking residents if they were in favour of strengthening and re-opening the Opera House, with more than 80 per cent of respondents in favour of bringing the building up to 70 to 75 per cent of current New Building Standard. At the same time, the community asked Council to put a permanent roof on the Plaza and come back to them at a later date to discuss what to do with the Municipal Buildings. More details on this consultation can be found at

Join us on the journey
Most of the construction work happening during the strengthening project will occur inside the building. So that you can see what’s happening, a time lapse camera has been installed – short video clips will be uploaded here monthly.

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

 September 2017

August 2017

Earthquake strengthening construction work on the Opera House Theatre began in August 2017. A video, shot in June 2017, capturing our iconic Hawke’s Bay Opera House Precinct as it was ahead of strengthening work beginning can be viewed below.

A glimpse inside the Hawke’s Bay Opera House – June 2017

The Plaza
Investigation for the Plaza development commenced in February 2017, with a number of design concepts presented to Council in June. Architectural designs have now been finalised, incorporating a permanent roof, as well as improvements to the flooring, acoustics and lighting. These will add versatility to the space, enabling it to be used for a wider range of purposes. Construction will begin early in 2018 and take around six months.

Hastings Municipal Buildings
Since the public consultation in 2016, Council staff have continued to have conversations with members of the art and cultural sector about the heritage-listed Municipal Building. The community-led Municipal Building Working Group was appointed in March 2017 to facilitate community consultation and reported back to Council in early September with a broad concept for the building. Design planning and more detailed discussions with key stakeholders will now commence.