Kurow Group Proactive in Face of new Legislation


From a dance hall to a bank, then a hotel and stables from where the coach ran to Omarama before the horses were put out to pasture and it became a motor garage, then a picture theatre, a pottery shop, home to the Royal Order of Buffalos, then a café … until 2002 when it was taken over by the Waitaki Valley Community Society and became the Kurow Heritage Centre, this building standing pride of place on the main street of Kurow has seen the town’s life story play out in front of it.

Today housing the Kurow Information Centre and, at the rear, the recently-refurbished Kurow Museum, at nearly 120 years old she’s still a vital part of the town with plenty of life left in her, even if the roof is a bit leaky.

In 2017 government passed legislation around the requirements of identifying and strengthening non-residential buildings in relation to being earthquake prone. The actual rating of the Kurow Heritage Centre is 25% NBS (New Building Standard). The Waitaki Valley Community Society decided to be proactive, supplying a report on the building’s condition and being the first to wear a sign, putting them ahead of the game - meaning they can now start the process of fundraising for repairs and strengthening and have 12 years to do so.

What does the sign mean for the public? Well, nothing really, the building’s use hasn’t changed at all - it simply gives an indication of the risk of failure compared to a brand new building on the same site.

Ahuriri Community Board member and curator of the Kurow Museum Peter Ellis said, “We are well aware of the need for earthquake strenthening and we are in the throes of looking at potential sources of funding in what is a small community. It’s a historic building and we recognised the need to protect it.”​

Page reviewed: 20 Feb 2020 3:07pm