George Campbell reports:
The budget for Wellington’s Town Hall earthquake strengthening project has blown out by $37.1 million.
The opening of the building has been delayed until 2025. It has been labelled the most complex construction project in New Zealand at this time.
The significant cost escalation, from $145.3m to $182.4m, is one in a string of many.
Since the Town Hall was declared earthquake-prone and closed in 2013, the cost of the work has grown from $43m, to $60m, to $90m, and then to $112m in 2019.
This is insane. The cost to renovate the town hall is now over $2,500 per household. The Council were warned costs would keep escalating but they just carry on burning up ratepayers money. Wellington already has a superb music venue at the Michael Fowler Centre. A second venue is a nice to have, not a must to have. Pipes that don’t leak is a must to have.
They are spending $182 million on a building that a small fraction of the population will ever use or go into.
It probably won’t stop at $182 million. Based on history it will probably exceed $200 million.