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Arts, culture and entertainment hub endorsed

MEDIA RELEASE
1 July 2004

Plan for arts, culture and entertainment hub endorsed

Auckland City voiced its commitment to the arts, culture and entertainment sector with the endorsement of a draft plan for the Aotea Quarter at today’s Recreation and Events Committee meeting.

The council’s draft vision for this area of the central business district (CBD) is:
‘the Aotea Quarter, the civic core of the CBD and home and heart of arts, culture and entertainment: a vibrant, 24/7 centre for people, creative expression, activity and democratic expression.’

The chairperson of the Recreation and Events Committee, Councillor Scott Milne, says the plan builds on the history of the area and its current uses. The civic and heritage nature of the area will be enhanced along with the entertainment component.

Mr Milne says, the vision will be achieved by:
- working with others like the universities, entertainment and arts organisations to bring their activities into the area
- encouraging performing arts companies to locate, rehearse and perform in the quarter
- providing good open spaces and pedestrian routes between the various venues and
- encouraging late night activity.

“At the moment there are few places people can meet, eat, drink and socialise in this part of the CBD after the theatres close. We need to work with the private sector to encourage this kind of development,” he says.

“The council has already committed funding to a number of projects that will help realise the vision, such as the Lorne and Queen streets upgrades, development of a CBD retail strategy, development and implementation of a public activity plan and the Aotea Square and art gallery upgrades.

“There is only so much the council can do. For this plan to succeed we need the support and enthusiasm of all Aucklanders. Auckland City will soon be consulting on its plan for the Aotea Quarter. I urge people to take a look at the draft plan and tell us what they want for this part of the CBD and how they think it can be achieved,” says Mr Milne.

The Aotea Quarter covers the area around Aotea Square bounded by Mayoral Drive, Wellesley Street, Lorne Street and Khartoum Place.

The plan for the quarter has been developed as part of Auckland’s CBD Into the future strategy which aims to grow and consolidate the CBD’s international reputation as one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres.

The ongoing success of Auckland’s CBD is vital to the success of the city, region and New Zealand as a whole. The CBD is one of the city’s main areas of growth in both a business and residential sense.

Ends

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