While I haven’t really got the faintest clue what the real deal is with Wellington’s proposed Convention Centre (and ensuent Hilton Hotel), given that we have had no news except for one article saying that the Cable St site was no longer being looked at, and a waterfront Wharf was instead (come on you guys – WTF is going on??), then instead we should talk about the proposed Auckland convention Centre, and how Mr Key says that it is going to be tres ugly unless someone pays more money for it to be better designed.
I don’t know about you, but I despair at Mr Key’s grasp of anything is weak and incomplete – sorely lacking in any knowledge about architecture. Who is advising him on these matters?
Yes, the current proposal is indeed pretty crap – but I don’t know if throwing more money and more pokies at it is going to improve things. Who are the architects of the current monster ??
Actual words spoken by the Prime Minister were: “I’m keen to see the best convention centre I can for Auckland, because this is a very long-term asset, so I would hate to see some sort of eyesore constructed downtown.”
The market has interpreted this as a sure sign that the government will contribute ie “would not rule out using taxpayer cash to fund budget over-runs during construction”.
SkyCity shares have risen 13c in anticipation.
And an excellent political comment in the Dom today:
This is a good blog post on the matter (because it largely reiterates some of the points I was trying to make on your earlier post on the Wgtn proposal): https://dimpost.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/win-by-not-playing/
…and it is interesting that the Govt is becoming more interested in ensuring the design quality of our built environments. I expect they’ll revisit the basin reserve proposal accordingly… (yeah right)
Another exercise is in privatising profits/socialising losses…
Indeed m-d, the convention centre deal is becoming more ensnared in controversy as every day goes by. Are the government planning their exit strategy? Dimpost’s article was good – so is today’s Dompost article, where it says:
“And now the deal seems likely to make victims of the taxpayers as well. A bad deal has become a lot worse for the Government too: polls suggest the voters hate the idea of a taxpayer-funded pokie centre. Key and Joyce must abandon their folly now. If they can’t understand the moral and economic arguments against the centre, they must surely see the political ones.”
Ooooh. I sense a major government spin campaign coming on….