Update for Keirunga Homestead Members regarding Renovations

This is to bring you up to date with the progress being made with the renovations of the Homestead by the Hastings District Council.

This project has been three years in the making following the Council’s decision to go ahead. We understand that over $300,000 has been allocated to this work and SimkinConstruction uncovered many areas that needed more attention than they had anticipated. Many places where timber had rotted away particularly around the toilets/bathrooms.

The structural work started in September and is due to be completed just before Christmas. There will be some interior work required before the Grand Opening on 23rd January 2024. This will be an official function by the Mayor with thirty-seven people in her party. Because we are only allowed to have sixty people on the premises at any one time, only twenty-three Keirunga people will be invited.

Because of this restriction we have decided to hold a special Keirunga opening to which we can invite Keirunga members, supporters and sponsors to attend. This will be held either on the same day as the official opening or on another day yet to be decided.

The renovated Homestead is going to be a fantastic venue and by re-arranging the group usage, there will be two new rooms that will be available for functions, workshops, meetings etc. These are the Dining Room and the Study. Our thanks go to the members of the Creative Fibre, Miniatures and Quilters Groups who have agreed to store their equipment in the re-modelled storeroom and to meet in different rooms.

Here is a summary of the work that is being undertaken:

A new entrance on the southern elevation, improving accessibility to the building.

The dining-room, between the kitchen and the lounge, has been completely refurbished with new wall paper, curtains and squabs. We are applying for a grant to purchase a dining room table and eight or ten chairs so that the room can be hired out for formal or business dinners and lunches.

The Scullery, next to the kitchen, is being completely refreshed with a new carpet, new sky-light and lighting plus a heat pump. The loom and other equipment will be moved into this room.

The Kitchen has been completely overhauled with new cupboards and bench top, a new hot water zip and a new hot water cylinder. And new lighting, new oven and a new commercial sink. There is now a paved area outside the kitchen to facilitate outside catering equipment and supplies.

The Lounge will have new wall paper and painted areas where applicable and new lighting. This room will be highly sought after for wedding receptions, family get-togethers, meetings, lectures and workshops. There are two new floor heat pumps in this room.

There are new toilets in place of the old ones. And a broom cupboard has been fitted into one of the toilets.

The store room at the end of the corridor will be made more user friendly for groups to store their gear/equipment in separate lockable cupboards.

The corner room has also been refreshed and its future use is yet to be decided.

The gardens surrounding the Homestead have been dug out and rebuilt with a new irrigation system installed. New plants/shrubs have already been planted.

Our thanks go to Deidre and Elyse who own the Sewing Room. These ladies are going to make cushions out of the old curtains at no cost to the Society.

A fire protection system has been installed as has new lighting and heating throughout the whole facility plus we now have underfloor insulation and a new fuse box.

There are lots of people involved in this project, too many to list here but the two people we must thank are Alex Mabin who is a Public Spaces Policy Planner and Robbie Julian who is a Projects Officer, both of whom work for the Hastings District Council. Alex and Robbie have been very professional, friendly and flexible in all of our dealings and they deserve a lot of credit for the way in which they have steered this project in the right direction.

The HDC Parks team intends to promote all heritage buildings available for hire in Hastings during Parks Week which starts on 9th March 2024, including an Open Day at Keirunga. Plus a Landmarks talk or something similar.

Within the Keirunga Gardens the Homestead will be promoted via new park signs, a history board and the down-hill exit driveway will also serve as the primary pedestrian path into the Gardens.

Once the whole project has been completed the Council will organise a deep clean of all rooms and spaces and we will be open for business!

Our thanks go to all members for your patience and understanding during an incident-filled three years – COVID lockdowns and the effects of the Cyclone which delayed the renovations.

If you would like to ask any questions please contact Chris Moore on 027 412 7050 or 877 8349. Or Jaki Supra on 027 207 9999.