Regional theatre clears hurdle
There was a bit of niggle, voices raised, but in the end, a lastminute bid to scuttle the proposed Waikato Regional Theatre ended in a whimper.
Councillors began day two of deliberations on the Hamilton City Council’s draft long-term plan with a series of lengthy debates on proposed community infrastructure projects.
Key among them was a vote on whether to contribute up to $25 million of ratepayer money towards a new regional theatre.
It passed, but not before Councillor Garry Mallett, supported by Cr James Casson, argued for the proposal to be ditched.
Although the theatre proposal was a bold idea, it was unaffordable given the state of the council’s finances, Mallett said.
Cr Paula Southgate opposed Mallett’s move, but sought assurances from staff over whether upgrading the disused Founders Theatre was cost prohibitive.
Senior staffer Sean Murray said he couldn’t be confident that Founders Theatre could be fixed for $30m. Mallett’s motion was voted down 10 to 3, with only Cr Leo Tooman siding with Mallett and Casson.
Hamilton City Councillors continued their deliberations on the draft longterm plan on Friday