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Caccia Birch House review

We’re proposing to bring the management of Caccia Birch House into the Council.

Next steps

At its April meeting, Council's Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee recommended that the day-to-day management of Caccia Birch House, its grounds and coach house be brought into Council by July 2022.

Council will vote on the recommendation at its meeting on Wednesday 2 June.

Photo shows historic Caccia Birch homestead.

Caccia Birch House is a popular venue for events, including private celebrations such as birthdays and weddings, and conferences and other business functions.

Caccia Birch House is a heritage site gifted to Palmerston North City Council by the Crown in 1984. The terms of the gift are that the property is restored and preserved and that public access and use is maintained.

We’re proposing to change the way Caccia Birch House is managed. Currently, it operates as a Council-Controlled Organisation, with a Trust Board that governs day-to-day operations in line with the Statement of Intent agreed with the Council. The Council is the primary funder of the Caccia Birch Trust Board.

What we're proposing

The proposal is to bring the management of Caccia Birch House into the Council. This would result in the Caccia Birch Trust Board dissolving and Council having full responsibility for the management and delivery of Caccia Birch House as a venue for hire, while preserving its heritage value.

We looked at a range of options for delivering Caccia Birch House as a venue for hire in the most cost-effective way. These options included:

  • Continuing with a Council-Controlled Organisation, run by the Caccia Birch Trust Board (status quo)
  • Bringing the management of Caccia Birch House into the Council (the preferred option)
  • Contracting the management of Caccia Birch House to a commercial person or agency
  • Contracting the management of Caccia Birch House to a community agency.

Some options were not considered because they are not consistent with the terms of the original gift. For instance, selling the property or converting it to another purpose.

The full analysis of these options, including the projected costs for each, is included in this document:

The preferred option – bringing the management of Caccia Birch House into the Council – costs less than the status quo but more than the other two options. However, Council considers that the preferred option meets the desired objectives more effectively than either of those options.

Further, there is doubt whether a suitable commercial or community agency could be found that would be prepared to manage Caccia Birch House to meet the desired objectives.