Buckland Hall - why was it closed and is it now safe to use?

Absolutely it is safe to be open to all members of the public!

Auckland Council and our Structural Engineers EQSTRUC have both confirmed that there is no legislative reason why Buckland Hall should not be open to all members of the public.

In fact EQSTRUC have provided statistical comparisons that you are at least 2.5 times more likely to be injured on the road than you are using Buckland Hall! (link here)

Buckland Hall serving the community for over 100 years

Our insurance company are satisfied and have not placed any restrictions or additional premiums on either our building or public liability insurance.

Like thousands of other wonderful, historic buildings through out New Zealand,* Buckland Hall has been identified as an Earthquake Prone Building.

 

However, the location is an area of Low Seismic Risk which means we have until 12th February 2056 to comply with the latest Building Standards.

 

*Visit the EPB Register to see a full list of all EPB buildings many of which are open to the public.

NZ EPB Register

Is Buckland Hall safe to use for schools and other organisations which include vulnerable individuals?

Absolutely BECAUSE it is safe to be open to all members of the public!

We have consulted with the Ministry of Education who advise that there has been no instructions to schools that an EPB building cannot be used.

So why was Buckland Hall Closed?

In hindsight it should not have been closed

Going back to February 2020 – There were a few leaks in the roof that needed fixing and a group of local builders were ready to do the work, but because of the value of the work, the committee prudently sought a second quote.

It was this second builder that raised all the concerns about the hall. Then COVID arrived and with it Level 4 and the lockdowns at which point the hall obviously had to close.

Understanding that it was an Earthquake Prone Building the Committee appointed structural engineers EQSTRUC to prepare the required report. In the report EQSTRUC advised that there was no legislative reason to keep the hall closed and it was up to the Committee. However, with the continued impact of the COVID lockdowns and the committee feeling extremely nervous, the decision was taken to keep the hall closed.

In hindsight it is very sad to now realise that this was unnecessary.

In August 2022 a new Committee was elected and made it their priority to review all the documentation and engage in consultation with EQSTRUC and the Council. With the support of the professional advice from both parties that there was absolutely no legislative reason why the hall should not be open to the public, the Committee ratified the decision to re-open the hall in February 2023.

A band of volunteers then worked long hours to clean, extensively paint inside and out, upgrade the ladies toilets, waterblast etc., before a wonderful celebratory  re-opening on ANZAC day.

Buckland Hall ANZAC Day 2023
Buckland Hall available for community events
Buckland Hall ANZAC Day 2023

It is important for the Community to know that the new Committee does not in any way blame the previous Committee for the unnecessary closure of the hall. We totally understand and remember the COVID lockdown environment. It must have been a very intense time and hard for the Committee to try to deal with all the issues. We completely sympathise, as we now know that the worry and stress caused to them was unnecessary. 

Buckland Hall Timeline of EPB Events & Decisions

Are the EQSTRUC reports available to the public?

Yes, absolutely the reports are all available for the public to view – please contact the Buckland Community Centre Inc Chairperson, Ian Farrant to arrange a time to meet. You will also find all the Committee Minutes since August 2022 located in the Community Information Area of this website.