The Hastings City Business Association has slammed the move to strengthen the Hawke's Bay Opera House, going against the 80 per cent who want the building to be restored.

In her submission to the special public consultation process on the project, the association's general manager Susan McDade said spending the $12 million to $15 million was not in Hastings Central Businesses interest.

Her submission was one of 3049 submitted with a clear majority saying they wanted the Hastings District Council to spend at least $10 million on bringing the building to a strengthening level of 70 per cent.

Ms McDade is due to speak to council on her submission today, day two of discussions on what to do with the opera house.


In her written document she said the city has been without a facility for some time and that a year or two more would not make any difference in the context of getting the right master plan agreed and developed.

"We do not support the strengthening of the opera house at this time," she said.

"This is due to the fact that a comprehensive redevelopment strategy has not been presented to the public for consultation along with a number of the fundamental operating issues facing the existing facility that have not been addressed.

"It appears the motivation is a push to complete the strengthening at all costs and with speed."

Ms McDade said the association did not support any of the options that have been released for consultation on the basis that there was not enough information to make any informed decision.

"[The Association] see this as a once-in-a-decade opportunity and believe that further time and additional expertise needs to be brought into this process.

"The Hawke's Bay Opera House should only be strengthened if it fits into an overall master plan to revitalise the CBD.

"Doing any work whatsoever without a firm and committed long term development plan is irrational."

Discussions on the consultation process started yesterday, following the council's general meeting.

Councillors discussed written submissions from people who did not wish to speak about them before the chamber.

The opera house strengthening is part of the Tihei Heretaunga initiative to drive Hastings social, cultural and economic outcomes.

The initiative is being driven by an independent working party.

Ms Dade said that this strategy has not been communicated to the public appropriately.

"Most people, unless they have been close to the strategy have no idea what it means," she said.

"To consult on such a question, without a meaningful conversation and education program, quite frankly is flawed."

Despite this council was told yesterday that suggestions made on any part of the Tihei Heretaunga initiative in the submissions will be further analysed by staff and a report on it presented to council at a later date.