$150,000 bash for Queen St up­grade can­celled

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Dal­las Gur­ney

A $150,000 ratepayer-funded party cel­e­brat­ing com­ple­tion of the Queen St up­grade has been can­celled.

The bash was pen­cilled in for ear­lier this month but called off by the CBD Board, an ad­vi­sory panel to the Auck­land City Coun­cil.

This was de­spite coun­cil ap­proval for an ex­tra $50,000 from its events bud­get.

The plans came un­der fire from City Vi­sion-Labour coun­cil­lors.

Coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey says the CBD board was shamed into back­ing down.

“I think they were em­bar­rassed by the pub­lic out­cry.”

Dr Casey says there are more im­por­tant things to spend the money on.

But arts, cul­ture and re­cre­ation com­mit­tee chair­man Greg Moyle says the board’s de­ci­sion to can­cel the party had noth­ing to do with the cost.

He says they de­cided to cel­e­brate the up­grade in an­other way, yet to be de­cided.

Mr Moyle says the de­bate about the event was po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

Two-thirds of the cost of the $150,000 party was to come from cen­tral city ratepay­ers, with a $50,000 top-up from the coun­cil’s events bud­get.

Heart of the City’s Alex Swney says the $100,000 bud­geted for the party will now be spent on a Christ­mas event.

“We’ve been through 12 months of quite dra­matic dis­rup­tion and we’re look­ing to spend this money on our most im­por­tant trad­ing month, which is De­cem­ber.”

– Dal­las Gur­ney is an AUT jour­nal­ism stu­dent

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