Study On Indoor Concert Venue Welcome

The Chamber has been talking to Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and WCC CEO Garry Poole for some time about the possibility of a facility being built near the stadium so that mid-sized concerts and big international conventions could be held in the city.  We are literally missing out of tens of millions of dollars a year because we don’t have such a facility.  We were hopeful that the indoor sports stadium that is already going through the consent process might have been able to perfom a dual role, hosting concerts and conventions from time to time, but we are told that this is not possible by Wellington City Council as the centre will be fully utilised every day by the sports codes using its indoor courts.

The Chamber supports the indoor sports stadium but is still not fully convinced that the proposed location at Cobham Drive is the correct one.  Wellington City Council tell us that on a cost benefit basis that Cobham Drive is the best option.  We have recently OIA’ed the City Council’s figures and are presently studying what we have been given.

Getting back to a concert/convention center to be built near the stadium, we are pleased the issue has made the front page of today’s Dominion Post.  We look forward to the results of the further work that Wellington City is proposing on this concept.  If the concept is confirmed to be feasible and if it indeed will result in the positive economic impact that we think it could, then the Chamber is likely to become a strong advocate for such a structure being built.  Kerry Prendergast is suggesting in the Dominion Post today that projects such as this might have to be put on hold because of the economic downturn.  We don’t agree fully with this logic.  We favour acceleration of essential infrastructure investment in times such as these.  If this project is indeed worthwhile, then we should do everything possible to get construction underway as quickly as possible.  An $100 million construction programme would give a welcome boost to our economy right now.  And it would be great to have such a facility ready to open by the time that the global economy shows signs of a sustained recovery.


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