Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre construction contract awarded

Thursday 1, October 2020 | News |

The project to transform the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre has reached another key milestone with Council’s approval to award the construction contract to Hawkins to the value of $17.44million. With resource consent and building consent already approved, construction will start  next week.

In finalising the contract with Hawkins, there has been a great deal of work to ensure as much of the sub-contract workforce as possible is local. This has resulted in almost 80% of the expected trade contracts providing jobs for locals.

Rotorua Lakes Council Group Operations Manager, Jocelyn Mikaere, says it marks an exciting stage of what will be a transformational redevelopment.

“Over the next 18 months this project will deliver a building that showcases both the heritage and cultural identity here in Rotorua.  We have a performance-ready community full of talented and amazingly gifted people and there is a real opportunity to grow and support a major new local industry that will create real economic development and growth.  The centre will be restored and rejuvenated and we look forward to returning this taonga to our community. ”

The construction phase which is about to get underway follows completion of a detailed business plan for the redevelopment, a comprehensive design process, a range of building condition investigations, pre-construction enabling works and widespread consultation with local performing arts stakeholders.

Construction is expected to be finished by November 2021, followed by final fit-out and commissioning of the building. The completed facility is expected to re-open about February 2022.

Hawkins GM Central, Peter McCawe, says his team is eager to get going.

“The Hawkins team are excited to begin construction on this project. Work starting on the site will be another important milestone and a positive signal for Rotorua’s economy. This project will be a landmark for the city and one we are very proud to be part of.”

Once complete, the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre will have the only 1,000-seat theatre in the Central North Island.

Sir Howard Morrison Performing Artsr Centre Civic Theatre - artists impression
Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre Civic Theatre – artists impression

Additional facilities within the Centre will include a flexible black box theatre seating up to 300 people, a warm and welcoming foyer, a new café, bar and courtyard area, and multi-purpose studios for workshops, rehearsals and recording.  Acoustics, air conditioning systems and theatre services will all be upgraded, the number of toilets will be increased and accessibility enhanced.

This project is generously supported by:

  • NZ Lotteries
  • Sir Owen Glenn
  • Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust
  • New Zealand Community Trust
  • Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust
  • Ngāti Whakaue Education Endowment Trust
  • One Foundation