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New name for former Plaza at Toitoi Hawke's Bay Arts and Events Centre

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A new name has been selected for the former Plaza at Toitoi - Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre.

At a full council meeting this morning, Hastings district councillors adopted the name "Functions on Hastings" in recognition of both its use and its location.

The decision to find a new name arose from the redevelopment that has taken place, including the addition of a permanent roof that fully encloses the space - as such changing the attributes that had previously made it a "plaza" in the literal sense.

Last month the suggested name "Hastings Room" was rejected by councillors, who asked that a working party be formed with delegated authority to decide an alternative name.

The working party, including some councillors, business and marketing consultant and former Saatchi and Saatchi New Zealand chief executive Kim Wicksteed, designer Karl Wixon, council and Toitoi staff met to consider the new name late last month.

Taking into account the many different kinds of uses for the venue - from the likes of conferences to exhibitions, dinners and performances - the group felt the name "Functions" captured this diversity, while "on Hastings" denoted its location.

Although this name has been changed, the other venues within the centre such as the Opera House, Cushing Foyer, Municipal Building, Assembly Room and Shakespeare Room have retained their names under the overarching Toitoi identity.

Council group manager community programmes and facilities Alison Banks says the upgraded space and its new name will add to the buzz that’s been building ahead of its re-opening, along with the Opera House, at the end of February 2020. Meanwhile work is progressing well on the redevelopment of this space with the floor completely concreted, construction of a new entrance from Hastings St underway, and acoustic panels more than half way to being installed on the ceiling.

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