INDEPENDENT NEWS

Venues strategy needed before Town Hall decision made

Published: Wed 20 Feb 2019 11:38 AM
Venues strategy needed before Town Hall decision made, says Chamber
Wellington City Council needs to decide exactly where the Town Hall fits into its venues strategy before committing ratepayers to the massive cost of strengthening it, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
"This project is turning into a massive cost, and ratepayers need to know if it’s going to be money well spent," says Chief Executive John Milford.
"How it fits into the strategy, alongside the Michael Fowler Centre, the St James, and the new convention centre will determine that - if there’s some sort of decent return on the investment - or if it can be better spent elsewhere.
"We know that the $112 million projected spend announced yesterday will not be the final number. It’s already climbed from an original $46 million, so who knows where it could end up.
"It would be easy to simply say ‘go ahead’, because it is a great building, but ratepayers do need to see what sort of return and benefit they might get from such a big investment.
"Spending that sort of money to re-develop a facility that will have a pretty narrow use does raise questions.
"Yes, we’ll be retaining a heritage building and that will make us feel good. But what’s going to be the full use and what’s the business case stacked alongside the other venues. Clarity around that will help determine the return on investment and the Town Hall’s value to the city.
"It’s also a matter of priorities. Will this be money well spent when we have other infrastructure, such as water and roading, whose resilience must be the priority.
"We live in an earthquake zone and we can’t preserve everything. We have to make hard choices, and this is one of them. The public purse stretches only so far."
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Gordon Campbell on scrapping the capital gains tax
By: Gordon Campbell
Alliance and CRL Cost Announcements
By: City Rail Link
Government wipes debt for HNZ meth testing tenants
By: New Zealand Government
Fears grow for NZ nurse kidnapped in Syria
By: RNZ
Courageous rebellion takes off in Aotearoa
By: Extinction Rebellion
'No mandate' for capital gains tax - PM
By: RNZ
UPDATE: No capital gains tax while Ardern leader
By: BusinessDesk
Government rules out implementing capital gains tax
By: BusinessDesk
Govt will not implement a Capital Gains Tax
By: New Zealand Government
Govt responds to Tax Working Group report
By: New Zealand Government
Capital Gains Tax back down a win for Kiwis
By: New Zealand National Party
Tax Working Group Report
By: New Zealand First Party
New Zealand needs a Fairer Tax System
By: Green Party
483 days of uncertainty for nothing
By: ACT New Zealand
Old man holds country hostage for 17 months, expects thanks
By: ACT New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media