Tītahi Bay Marines Hall memorial project

We are seeking public input into how the hall should be memorialised, if the decision is taken to demolish it.

The Marines Hall in Titahi Bay has stood at the heart of the community for over 75 years and has a special place in the memories of local whānau.

Porirua City Council has lodged an application to demolish the Marines Hall following a decision made by Council in 2018. As part of our consent application, we’ve committed to ensuring we commemorate the hall’s history. This process is seeking your ideas and views on how we do that, if the hall is to be demolished following the consent process.

We want to commemorate the history and the stories about this building and invite you to share your thoughts on how we could do this. We’re mindful that some people will be sad to see the hall go, if the consent is granted and that’s why now is an important opportunity to be involved in how we remember the history of the building.

We’ve had a look at how other historic buildings have been commemorated around the Wellington region and we want to hear what would be meaningful to you and the community.

Here's what's happened so far

The Marines Hall was built in Titahi Bay during World War II (1943, to be precise) as a barracks for the 1500 US Marines stationed in the area. The building was used for its original purpose for less than a year before the Marines returned home.

The building became a local government asset in 1954 and was used as a place for the community to meet and celebrate. In 1976 Porirua Little Theatre occupied the building and called this building home until 2012.

In 2012 the hall was deemed structurally unsafe and was closed. A year later the building was also deemed at earthquake risk. Porirua City Council voted in 2018 that consent be sought for it to be demolished. 

Several groups looked into securing funding to restore the hall, but the building work required was too extensive. To restore the building, would require (as of 2018) $2 million.

What's happening now?

Porirua City Council has submitted a resource consent application to demolish the Marines Hall. The consent was notified earlier this year and submissions were received. The next stage of the process is a public hearing led by an independent RMA (Resource Management Act) Commissioner. We recently requested that the hearing is delayed for a couple of reasons: 

  1. Firstly, so that we can first find out how you, the community, want to commemorate this building, should the consent to demolish the building be granted. This is what we’re talking about now.
  2. Additionally, the Proposed District Plan was recently notified and the time extension will allow the new provisions of that plan to be considered as part of the decision making process.

The historical value of the Marines Hall building is not denied and we don’t want to lose the essence of this value if it is to be demolished.  To capture the significance, we will also be engaging a heritage consultant to log the artifacts and attributes of the building and this will be made publicly available for years to come.

How can I have my say?

A big thank you to those who took part in our survey or attended the drop-in sessions as we asked you about how to commemorate the former Marines Hall, if it is to be demolished.
We heard from a wide range of people and have now gathered all of your ideas and thoughts together for consideration. We were also wanting to capture your memories of your connection to the hall and already we’ve heard some lovely stories. We’ll keep that survey open as we’re still keen to hear from you about how you remember the building - please see below under 'share your stories'.

Your opinion is important to us and there’s a couple of ways you can have your say on how we can commemorate the building if consent is granted. We’ll be talking to our key stakeholder network that we’ve been updating throughout this process and will make sure that those groups are very aware of this process and how they can be involved

You can also flick us an email anytime to parksfeedback@poriruacity.govt.nz

We’ll keep you in the loop and share the feedback we’ve collected in the survey. A flyer will be made available to the community and sent to people who provide their contact details in the survey. This will be available towards the end of the year.

Marines Hall 2

Share your stories about the Marines Hall

We want to hear from you about those special and loving moments you remember about the Marines Hall. You may remember the first movie you saw there or a photo of you acting in a play - we want to hear your memories of those nice times. This is a mini survey running alongside our more comprehensive survey to understand how we might be able to commemorate the Marines Hall, if it is to be demolished.

Click here to share your stories