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Wellington town hall upgrade a 'sickening waste'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Reagan Cutting, Affordable Wellington council candidate for Northern Ward has labelled Wellington City Council’s authorisation to spend $46 million on an upgrade of the town hall a "sickening waste of money at a time when we can least afford it."

He also says, "The Council’s latest decision to waste tens of millions of dollars on mere aesthetics is heritage mania going into overdrive. It isn’t enough that property rights are ruined by heritage planning laws from bureaucrats stuck in a time warp; now the Council is picking the pockets of ratepayers for the sake of a sentimental officialdom."

Mr. Cutting believes that if Wellington is to grow as a truly vibrant international city, then it needs to advance with the times. "Throwing away ratepayer dollars on the preservation of inferior quality buildings does not achieve this. It sucks millions out of the local economy, acts as a doorstop against the provision of modern facilities, and leaves us with structures fixated in the stone-age."

"Elected officials do not need historical classical buildings to run a city. A rented private building might not stroke as many egos, but it will keep the rain out during votes and cost a lot less money. It seems that the desire of Wellington City councillors to work in a building which compliments their disproportionate sense of self-importance is of greater concern than the money of retired property owners struggling on limited incomes."

"Maintaining the town hall will not just be a major expense now, but also an enormous liability for future ratepayers. Why doesn’t the Council see this situation as an opportunity for civic growth and development? Wellington desperately needs a convention centre which will attract business and tourism to the central city. Let’s sell to a private company and get them to pay for the demolition of an unsafe building as well as the building of a convention centre? That would truly be a win-win situation for Wellington ratepayers."

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