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Proposed Music School - Consultation Tomorrow

NEWS RELEASE
27 July 2004

Proposed Music School - consultation begins tomorrow

Consultation on the proposal to locate the New Zealand School of Music on the Circa/Ilott site in the Civic Square precinct begins tomorrow.

The proposal is a joint venture between Massey and Victoria Universities with the Council proposed as partner. The agreement would see the Council offer the universities a 99-year lease of the site at a peppercorn rental.

The Council is using a Special Consultative Procedure, under the Local Government Act 2002, to ask Wellingtonians whether the Council should allow the universities to locate the School on the site.

The consultation material considers three options for the site - green space, private development or development with the Council as a key stakeholder. Developing the site with the Council as the key stakeholder, as in the New Zealand School of Music proposal, is the preferred option. The material involves a publicly available Statement of Proposal, a Summary of Information booklet, a month-long submission period and hearings. Submissions close on 27 August. Hearings will be held on 1 and 2 September. The Council will make a decision on 23 September.

Wellington City Council's Chief Operating Officer Karen Wallace said in using the Special Consultative Procedure the Council is acknowledging the importance of the site to Wellington and Wellingtonians.

"It is the public's chance to have their say in the development of the city and Civic Square," Ms Wallace said.

If, after consultation, the proposal is accepted by the Council, the universities will apply to the Partnerships for Excellence Scheme, administered by the Tertiary Education Commission, for funding. For the application to be successful, the universities must demonstrate a robust partnership with at least one partner - in this case the Council - which brings a partnership value of $5 million or more. The Council's contribution would be the value of the site (valued at $5.1 million) at a peppercorn rental.

The timeframe for this proposal will enable a decision to be made prior to the Partnerships for Excellence application deadline of 1 October.

Consultation information will be available on the Council's website at www.wellington.govt.nz, in Council service centres and libraries or by phoning the Council on 499 4444. A consultation display will also be on show in the central city library.

ENDS


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