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Government must reveal intentions for St James Theatre

Jacinda Ardern


Labour list MP based in Auckland Central

7 December 2010

Media Release

Government must reveal intentions for St James Theatre

The Government needs to be open with the people of Auckland as to whether they have any intention of incorporating the St James Theatre into plans for an international convention centre, says Labour list MP based in Auckland Central, Jacinda Ardern.

The future of the St James theatre, which was originally built in 1928, has been left hanging in the balance since a fire damaged the historic building in 2007.

“In recent months, there has been a glimmer of hope for those who are working tirelessly to save one of Auckland’s most iconic heritage buildings: the potential to incorporate the building into the international convention and exhibition centre proposal that is currently being considered by the Government” said Ardern.

“However, despite initial murmurings suggesting that there would be an announcement made in September, there has still not been any news as to when the plans for a new convention centre will commence and whether the St James will be incorporated into these plans”

“The Cabinet meeting, which was thought to have determined which bid the Government would announce as successful, was held on the 27th September, yet there still has been no utterance from the Minister for Economic Development as to which bid they intend to commission.”

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“There is a strong contingent of people who are in support of restoring the theatre back to its former glory and who recognise the economic and cultural value in reopening the doors of the St James to the public”

“I have tried to obtain documents in relation to the plans put forward by the five potential developers to the Ministry of Economic Development under the Official Information Act, but the Minister has, thus far, been unwilling to part with any information in relation to the building of the convention centre.”

“Time is ticking, and those with an interest in the preservation of the St James deserve to know whether it will be included within the convention centre’s plans. I urge the Minister to give the Auckland public some indication of whether or not the Government has actively prioritised the preservation of the St James in its pending decision.”

“The St James is at stake and the Minister’s inaction on this project is jeopardising the future of this historic building.”

ENDS

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