A reader writes in:
As a fellow WCC watcher I thought I would flag the following for your attention. It seems WCC is going cap in hand to the government looking for an extra $25m for the Movie Museum. This stems from rising costs related to the project’s facade. As I am sure you will recall this was the most expensive of the three facade options, which Justin Lester and other councillors endorsed at the time. As a ratepayer I find it incredibly frustrating that WCC continues to spend up large on vanity projects ($90m on the Town Hall refurbishment) and gold plating others (Movie Museum) on ratepayers’ dime.
Their largesse means free parking in the city on weekends is under threat (highly regressive), and increases in rates will continue to outpace inflation by a widening margin.* What makes this irresponsible spending even more galling is that happens while spending on critical infrastructure is neglected. For example, Wellington has one main water pipe connecting it to water infrastructure further north. This pipe crosses a major fault, and should it be severed in an earthquake the city and surrounding suburbs will be cut off. WCC has known about this for decades, but has consistently neglected necessary but invisible investments in favour of ribbon cutting projects. Shame on our elected officials.
I can only agree. Fewer votes in water infrastructure but I’d much rather have that invested in, than $90 million on a second concert chamber.