HISTORY OF OTAHUHU TOWN HALL
1 June 2001. The following was put together by Wilma Madgwick, Secretary of the Otahuhu Historical Society Inc. and Graham Mullins, Manager of the Otahuhu Business Assn. from facts that are on record at this time. Otahuhu had its own Borough Council from the year 1912 until 1986, in this year the Mt. Wellington Borough and Otahuhu Borough amalgamated and became the Tamaki City Council. Three years later in 1989, as part of Central Government legislation, the Tamaki City Council became part of Auckland City Council.
The following is a resume; of the history of Town Hall in Otahuhu.
The first one known as the Otahuhu Public Hall opened in 1865 and was controlled by the Otahuhu Public Hall Company Limited with local residents and businessmen as shareholders. This company was sold to the Otahuhu Borough Council in December 1929. Used for dances, movies, theatre productions, political meetings etc. The hall was the hub of Otahuhu. It was also used as a hospital in the 1918 influenza epidemic. This hall was burnt down on 23rd February 1943.
Although Otahuhu had several privately owned halls in the district, Otahuhu was without a Public Hall until 1965 when Otahuhu Borough Council purchased the Commonwealth Covenant Church on the corner of Atkinson Avenue and High Street. Known as the Municipal Hall this served the Community until demolished in 1972.
The funding for the present Otahuhu Town Hall was provided from a share pay-out from Auckland Airport funds. The Tamaki City Council decided that their share be used to fund Community facility needs within the Tamaki area. Two of the major projects undertaken were a new Mt. Wellington Library and a Town Hall for Otahuhu.
As the Otahuhu Business Association were interested parties in the public car parking facility, agreement was required from the Association for the Town Hall to be erected on the site. The overall Town Hall complex cost around $1 million.
When the Town Hall was completed a Public Meeting was held made up of local residents and business people to discuss such things as a constitution and what was seen as the usage of the magnificent facility.
Originally it was referred to as a Community Centre but as Otahuhu previously had a Community Centre, which was near the Monument at the junction of Great South Road and Mangere Road, it was seen to be confusing. It was the overall general public’s recommendation that the building to be opened on 30th June 1991 be named the Otahuhu Town Hall.
In the year 2000 a name change to the Otahuhu Town Hall Community Centre was established.
W Madgwick and G Mullins June 2001