June deadline for Hundertwasser decision

By Mike Dinsdale

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Whangarei District Council will decide on the fate of the Hundertwasser Arts Centre in June. PHOTO: FILE
Whangarei District Council will decide on the fate of the Hundertwasser Arts Centre in June. PHOTO: FILE

June 25 is D-Day for Whangarei's controversial Hundertwasser Arts Centre project.

Whangarei District Councillors today voted to receive the results of a comprehensive telephone survey that found 28 per cent of respondents supported the Hundertwasser Arts Centre (HAC) project, with 53 per cent opposed and 19 per cent either not sure or not leaning either way.

Mayor Sheryl Mai said a final decision on whether to proceed with HAC or pull the plug on the project would be made at the next full council meeting on June 25.
Ms Mai said councillors would receive full information on the implications of proceeding or cancelling the project.

"At that meeting we will make a final decision," she said.

If the council voted to go ahead with HAC it would not need to undergo a special consultative process as the project was in its long-term plan.

However, under the Local Government Act if they can the plan, that would have to go through the special consultative process and call for submissions, because it was in the long-term plan.

The motion to receive the report was passed unanimously.

The council employed Versus Research - at a cost of $17,065 - to do a telephone survey of 1000 Whangarei residents to gauge support for HAC.

It proposes spending up to $13 million on building HAC, at the old Harbour Board Building at the Town Basin, with up to $8 million from ratepayers.

An economic feasibility of the proposal by consultants Deloitte claims it will attract between 143,000 and 160,000 paying visits annually.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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