Community Foundation Newsletter

A Long-term Vision for Hawke’s Bay

Grand opportunity


The Hastings District Council moved positively this week on a proposal to centre a community digital archive in Stoneycroft, one of Hawke’s Bay’s historic treasures.

The proposal seeks to capture and retain the historic elements of the building both inside and out, while establishing a compatible activity on the site.

Your advice and comments are needed.


The proposal is mentored by the Community Foundation (Hawke’s Bay), which has been assured that there is significant long-term and cultural benefit for all.

The archive’s specialty would be scanning for posterity historical documents, letters, memoirs, photographs, maps, pictures, art and trinkets  held by private individuals, companies and institutions across the province. There are many. The information they contain, and their whereabouts need recording before they are lost forever.

The archive could also record currently digitally prepared sound and film material. An oral history section could be an important feature, in all providing an information and resource centre without parallel.

At Stoneycroft, the library would be highly visible and provide easy access to all quarters of the province. Importantly, it would be well placed – away from the danger of a Tsunami, or earthquake-driven flood. For those who would fear the danger of fire: Stoneycroft is already well equipped with sprinklers. Should the worst happen and there be a blaze, the loss would be wooden structure and a number of computers and screens. Your heritage would be safely recorded in a separate, properly equipped and aesthetically-attractive bunker.

With earthquake, fire and Tsunami issues accounted for, this landmark building and site are ideal for meeting the wishes of the late Dr D. A. Ballantyne and his wife, former councillor Sybil, as well as the NZ Historic Places Trust. The interior would be refurbished along original lines, paying attention to wallpaper styles and curtains. Two large front rooms would open as public viewing galleries containing large computer screens and reproductions of Hawke’s Bay’s heritage, a continuing and variable display. A third large downstairs room would be a computerised reading room for information-hungry citizens. Upstairs would be scanning area and interview rooms for oral history and annotation . . . The proposal already carries an impressive list of Hawke’s Bay support.

What are your suggestions?

What are your views?

Would you like your family name attached to the project?

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