Demolition begins on Cromwell Memorial Hall

by Kim Bowden - May 15, 2024

Cromwell's 1960s memorial hall is being demolished to make way for its $45.8 million replacement.

Fences are up and surround the site on Melmore Terrace as a contractor on a 23-tonne digger systematically dismantles the building.

Demolition of the Cromwell Memorial Hall is underway.

By Wednesday morning, the concrete cladding was off and the interior of the hall open to the outside, with waste material sorted into piles ready to be taken away.

However, contractors are under instruction to take care with the hall's old wooden floor, which will be salvaged and given a new life in the dance and movement spaces of the new community facility.

Trees have been felled around the war memorial, which is set for a new home at the front entrance of the replacement hall.

Trees have been felled, with others also slated for removal, including three large blue gums on Butchers Drive, which are making way for the construction of a new car park, and others beside the war memorial.

Wood from the blue gums is being put aside for use by the Cromwell Town and Country Club, as well as other neighbours, as firewood.

In total, 25 trees need to be removed from the site and will eventually be replaced by 26 others.

In a statement, the Central Otago District Council says, "The replacement trees include three trees to go into a new memorial garden".

"The existing war memorial will be relocated to the new garden together with the plaque commemorating the WWII 50th anniversary.

"The design of the garden has been undertaken in consultation with the Cromwell RSA."

The demolition work is expected to continue into next month, according to the council's project timeline.

The council has committed to saving the wooden floor of the old hall for use in the new.

Last week, members of the Cromwell Community Board, which is overseeing the project, were given an update on next steps by the project team, lead by contractor Naylor Love.

Two weeks ago the community farewelled the told hall with a dawn blessing and speeches.

More information about the project can be found online at


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