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The Performing Arts Precinct

The Performing Arts Precinct

The Mayor of Christchurch has welcomed the Minister for Earthquake Recovery's confirmation today that he will be removing a land designation in central Christchurch.

Minister Brownlee has confirmed he will be lifting the designation on land along the Colombo/Armagh St corner which had originally been earmarked for the Performing Arts Precinct (PAP), however current plans allow for this.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the fact that developers can now get on with their plans in the area is excellent news.

"We are very pleased things can start to get underway in this area and welcome the Minister's confirmation of the land designation being lifted," she says.

"As project leaders we are also continuing to work intensively with the Music Centre, the Court Theatre, the CSO and the Government to ensure the success of the Performing Arts Precinct."

Ms Dalziel says planners and proposed users were aware that the land available for the Performing Arts Precinct had been reduced in size and were progressing accordingly. She adds that the City Council's decision to repair the existing Town Hall Auditorium and James Hay, while considering a new southern entrance to the facility was the option in the cost share agreement (Schedule ten, point three) agreed to by the Crown and the council and that is underway.

"We met with the CCDU within the last six weeks and they indicated that the Forsyth Barr building would stay and that the area for the Performing Arts Precinct had shrunk. This meant we had to revisit the PAP design to fit the three buildings with the Forsyth Barr building in place. This was undertaken with the three PAP users and was presented to the CCDU about three weeks ago," she says.

"We had been aware that land acquisition has been an ongoing issue, and met with key partners a fortnight ago to update them on what we understood to be the Crown's current position. We remain committed to working with the Crown to resolve any outstanding issues.

"Councillors, myself, staff and members of the Performing Arts Precinct have continued to work together to progress plans for the precinct."

Mayor Dalziel says she and the councillors are reassured by the Minister's move on land designation today together with recent reassurances from the Joint Agency Group (JAG).

JAG told the Community Committee last week that the three key members of the PAP are working well with the PAP project leaders CCC holding regular meetings around the design and building.

"The Performing Arts Precinct must happen as soon as possible to assist and encourage the social recovery of Christchurch, a city that is proud of both its creative talent and its performers," says Lianne Dalziel.

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