Earlier this week I went to look at the new viewing platform the Napier City Council has built over a stormwater outflow pipe at Marine Parade.
The platform opened amid controversy recently with many of our readers writing to say they thought it was a waste of money. Many called it a pier and complained that it was too short. However, the council has been quite clear all along that it was never intended to be a pier, but a viewing platform.
Well, having now seen it and walked on it, I must say that I like it. The crowd of people there also seemed to like it.
Sure, it may seem like a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things it is not. It is another attractive feature on Marine Parade and the Napier City Council deserves to be congratulated for developing that area over the years.
While I approve of the viewing platform, I don't believe the council should proceed with its $500,000 business case into a multi-purpose facility which would include a velodrome.
While the cycling community is very enthusiastic, others are worried it could become a white elephant. I tend to agree with the latter. Anyway, if we were going to build a velodrome, surely the Hastings and Napier councils should join forces and put it at the Regional Sports Park, which has plenty of space.
Speaking of Hastings, I think the council should go ahead and spend about $11 million to fix the Opera House as it is a good venue.
However, I believe tentative talk about the council investing public money into a hotel in the city is a step too far. There is no need, especially with one being built in Havelock North.
Councils should spend money on projects that enhance our cities, but not ones that could quite possibly be money pits or unwise investments.