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Moutere Hills Community Centre

Case Study, August 2023

Moutere Hills Community Centre

Case Study, August 2023

Gym extension drawing - Arthouse Architects

  • Owner: Tasman District Council
  • Operator: Moutere Hills Community Centre Inc.
  • Type: New Build (2005), additions/alterations to existing structure (2014)
  • Hierarchy: Local
  • Primary: Community sport and recreation
  • Secondary: Community activities and events
  • Standard: Architectural
  • Planning commenced: Initial (2003) Fitness Centre addition (2013)
  • Construction completed: Initial (2005) Fitness Centre addition (2014)
  • Total Project Capital Cost (excluding land) – original build - $2.4 million
  • Total Project Capital Cost (excluding land) – Fitness Centre addition - $230,000


Connecting the community by providing an inclusive and sustainable facility that supports the community and encourages participation. The centre’s goals are to:

  • Build relationships
  • Provide a future-focused facility
  • Be a trusted, transparent organisation
  • Support wellbeing.

Description of need/Challenge to solve

The Moutere-Waimea area has a growing population. From the early 2000’s, there was an evolving need for a place for the growing community to gather, celebrate, play sport, learn, recreate, and hang out.

The initial need identified in 2000 by the Rangers Rugby Football Club (RFC) in the Upper Moutere Domain was for better changing facilities, so it could develop as a large and active club. The club was an amalgamation of four local clubs and growing fast. Existing buildings (ablutions and change area) were not fit for purpose to meet their needs.

In addition, a local playgroup run from an old hall nearby struggled to make the venue suitable for young children. Following a series of community meetings led by the Rangers RFC and a survey of the wider community, it was clear there was a broader need for a community centre and improved facilities for sports clubs to bring all these activities under one functional roof.

The fitness centre facilities were added in 2014. This was developed in response to identified gaps in provision, through consultation with existing users and the community, who identified a number of needs and wishes, with fitness and health a top priority.

Project specification

The Centre is a multi-use facility with car parking, located on the original Upper Moutere domain. The outdoor area comprises rugby and soccer pitches, a cricket wicket, playgrounds, a shaded picnic area, a bank of three club tennis courts (the Archibald-Goodall Tennis Courts), and one netball/tennis court for public use.

The building, at 1,120 square metres, comprises:

  • 150-seat function centre
  • Commercial kitchen and bar
  • 40-seat meeting room
  • Sports hall – can be opened up to a large area with the function centre
  • Stage
  • Community activity room.

A refit of the entire building occurred in 2014, and a new community fitness centre and fitout was separately completed.

To accommodate the needs of the fitness centre users, the rugby changing rooms were recently renovated and now include four gender-neutral showers. The Centre is wheelchair accessible.

Project team

Initial Build

  • Rangers Rugby Football Club
  • Sport Tasman
  • Moutere Hills Community Trust Board
  • Tasman District Council
  • Arthouse Architecture – concept plans
  • Coman Construction – build
  • Tasman Fundraising and Development Ltd

Rebuild (Fitness Centre)

  • Arthouse Architecture
  • IMB Construction – assisted with Project Management as a contribution to the community
  • Blue Fitness – supplied fitness centre equipment

Moutere case study partner logos

Project overview

Activity Date

Rangers RFC growing in numbers

Decision that changing facilities needed upgrading

Initial planning (Rangers RFC)

Decision to take idea of a mixed-used facility to the community


Initial community meetings


Meeting with Tasman District Council (TDC)

Commit support

Community to contribute 20% of costs 


Moutere Hall sold - funds contributed


Moutere Hills Community Trust Board established (now Moutere Hills Community Centre, Inc)


Rangers RFC donated $25,000


3-year plan developed with Tasman Funding Solutions


Fundraising and community events including A Country Affair

Over 3 years

Tasman District Council introduce Community Facilities Rates (introduced 2003/4 plan)


Neudorf Hall sold

Assets became the property of Upper Moutere Domain Board


Contract signed off with Tasman District Council


Tender awarded

Jan 2005

Construction began


Construction completed/ Centre opened


First fire

2013 (Jan)

Second fire

2013 (April)

Insurance replacement of internal commenced


Planning for fitness centre commenced


Concept approved [100 square metre addition]


Fitness centre build commenced


Centre re-opened



A series of public meetings had identified community interest in a shared sports/community facility. The concept of Sports Hubs (initially called Sportsville) was in its infancy in NZ but aligned with the Club’s intentions.

In total 32 groups showed interest in the idea of a multi-use complex. The project also had the support of well-known local families with a long-term interest and involvement in the region.

As ideas for a new facility developed, it became clear that an expansion plan was required to build a multi-purpose facility – they needed more land. Fortunately, a very amenable neighbour helped, and was willing to sell the necessary land to the TDC for the project to proceed.

The project faced cost escalation due to changes in specification and challenges to get universal support for the increase in scope and doubling of the budget.

The TDC was initially cautious about committing to the project but based on a clear need for community facilities in more than one of its Wards, TDC developed a Targeted Facilities Rate to support investment into community facilities.

In 2003, concept plans for the new Centre were presented and received support, with an agreement that TDC fund 80 percent of the final cost, with the community to raise the other 20 percent.

In terms of governance, changes were made prior to 2009 after consideration by the Board as to the founding clubs and users and to make sure their needs were met, whilst still making the facility available for business events and other users. The Constitution was amended to include a greater level of user group representation and refocus the efforts of the governance team towards core business (clubs, groups and facility users). At this stage the two User Group categories were developed.

Moutere case study - group of people in a hall

Role of the Regional Sports Trust

An MoU between the TDC, Sport Tasman, and the Centre was established when the project was first initiated. The agreed contribution of Sport Tasman in the MoU at the time was: 

  • training resources and seminars
  • development of guidelines
  • mediation
  • dashboard tools for analysis
  • fundamental skills training.

The Centre and Sport Tasman no longer have an MOU in place.

Rebuild and new fitness centre

Since the centre was completed, two fires in 2013 resulted in extensive internal repair and refurbishment in 2014. Costs were covered by the TDC’s insurance policy on the building.

Funds were raised to add a new fitness centre, completed in 2014.

Governance/Management structure

The Centre is an incorporated society, having governing authority and a contract with the TDC to deliver agreed services. Key management staff are appointed by the Board. The Centre employs a Facility Manager, Accounts Administrator, Recreation Co-ordinator and Fitness Centre Manager.

The Management Agreement between the Community Centre and the TDC outlines responsibilities. Council maintains the building and undertakes renewals where necessary. TDC also takes care of outside spaces such as the playground, gardens, carpark, and sports fields. The Board is responsible for the chattels and fixtures within the building.

Sports clubs have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre, renewed annually. There are currently two different membership types:

Group Member – Rangers RFC, Cricket, Netball, Playgroup and Tennis Club- with special voting rights and representation 

Community membership

Members must live within the Moutere Hills area and/or access the Centre’s services.  Membership allows voting at the AGM, the ability to stand as a board member, and discounts on fitness centre membership and hire of spaces. Anybody has the right to stand for Community Centre Board Membership.

Programme development

Current programmes have been developed via a survey and discussions with community groups and individuals.


The Centre aims to have programmes and classes affordable for all sections of its community. A gold coin donation gives young people a chance at youth sports, and social sports are $3 per session. With a concession card, Fitness Centre classes (such as Pilates) cost $6 a session. 


A total of 32 programmes currently run on a weekly basis, including class bookings and commercial bookings. Programmes cover an age range from pre-school to adults, and the range of programmes reflects this.

Other users include providers with particular skills offering programmes, small groups meeting at the Centre, and sports club events, business meetings, weddings, funerals, school events, and history group and arts events.

The fitness centre now has approximately 400 members, with more than a quarter of them teenagers. Word of mouth has increased numbers. Fitness classes are popular and contribute to the overall income from the fitness centre.

User numbers

Visitor number table for Moutere case study

Moutere fitness demographics table and pie charts

Participant voice

I have been using the Moutere Hills Community Centre Facilities, since
we’ve moved here from Australia.  I do many different sports activities there – football, tennis, basketball and futsal. Recently I joined the gym and have started attending box and burn classes. The Centre is a great place for teens like me to hang out with friends and learn and play different sports, or get fitter and build strength. I feel so lucky to have such a well-equipped facility so close to where I live.

Luca (age 14)

Moutere Hills Community Centre is a nearly perfect facility for me. It has enhanced, if not saved, my life in early retirement. The fitness classes provide a nice structure to my day, good secondary-level social interactions, a sense of being part of a local community, new friendships, and a well-rounded variety of exercises, including cardio, core, strength building, HIIT, and yoga. I am probably more fit now at 66 years old than I was 20 years ago. One of the best things about the classes is that people can participate regardless of their fitness and abilities. Every individual can challenge themselves as much as they want and the staff are incredibly friendly and supportive. I love it!


I am a 72 year-old woman and I exercised all my life. I really appreciate the variety of courses offered at the Moutere Hills Community Centre (MHCC) and Fitness Center and attend four times a week (yoga and a light weights and cardio class). The spaces where the classes are held are perfect. We also appreciate the “community” feel of MHCC where we have made many friends and acquaintances through attending the exercise classes. The manager and instructors are professional, very welcoming and they make an effort to engage with us personal. Being part of a community is important to us and we would really miss not having the Centre in our area.


Learning and successes

  • Build a strong committee with a shared purpose.
  • Be community-driven, seeking committee members skilled in business and negotiating, who are active and able to achieve things with good governance skills. People who are willing to fly ‘under the radar’ and just get things done.
  • Be staunch and accountable, and stick to the budget (however hard that is), remembering ‘other people’s money is more sacred than your own’.
  • A good working relationship with your local authority from the start – they have to be on board, or it’s not doable.
  • Keep the design simple; provide what is needed and keep everyone’s feet on the ground.

Financial vulnerability forced the Board to be very proactive about their financial approach to managing unforeseen events. They sought reliable income streams outside of grants to be sustainable, whilst still retaining the community connection, and there are now several funding streams in place. Fundraising activities include an annual quiz night, Christmas market, book sale, and other one-off community events. Facilities are also for hire for private and business events, generating further income.

Additional elements of the Centre’s success include:

  • the range of user groups and the multi-purpose space, plus the indoor and outdoor spaces
  • responsive and proactive programming (see Strategic Plan)
  • creative activation of the different spaces in the Centre
  • the Centre has a strong connection to its local community and is responsive to the community’s needs
  • adaptable to changing demographics and changing demands.


Evaluation is built into the Strategic Plan and occurs in several ways, relating to the programming, users, and the facility itself:

  • Annual survey to inform strategic planning and support Centre decisions/prioritisation.
  • Regularly reviewing the schedule of activities to ensure a good mix of social, cultural, recreational, and sporting activities.
  • Regularly reviewing services and activities to ensure appropriateness of activities across age groups (babies to seniors).
  • Develop tools/opportunities for ongoing informal feedback.
  • Review and adapt existing spaces to ensure the continually evolving needs of the community and users are being met.
  • Initiate long-term facility needs assessment, including gym and parking needs.

[Source: Strategic Plan 2022-2024]


[costs for initial build are unavailable at time of writing]

Total Project Cost (Fitness Centre)



Total Operating Costs per annum






Design and Construction


Operating Expenses

Staff & Contractors


Incl Board fees


Fit out



Maintenance & repairs







Equipment & cleaning










Project Funding

Local Philanthropic Trusts







Gaming Trusts



Services including office and general expenses




Community Trust







Private loan



Depreciation (For Fitout and equipment owned by trust only)




Local fundraising and funds in hand














In kind donations

And other









Total Operating Income

$ 318,000

per annum






Income Sources

Community User Pays


Including Way to Go and Fitness Centre





Commercial Activity  


Functions bar and shop





Grants, Donations and Fundraising







Local Government Subsidy







COVID grant

















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