Thursday June 29, 2017
Town Hall’s fate decided at council Wellington could be seeing its Town Hall back in action in a few years’ time. The re-birth of the Wellington Town Hall as the earthquake-strengthened home of a national music centre was unanimously endorsed by Wellington City Councillors last Thursday. The national music centre would be developed in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) and council to establish a world-class centre of musical excellence and centre for culture and the arts. It would also be used for civic
ceremonies, council meetings and would again be home to the Mayor’s Office. The Town Hall has been shut since 2013, when it was closed for strengthening work, ultimately delayed by ballooning costs. The new proposal includes quake-strengthening to 100 per cent of the building code and would include basement storage and access, basement toilets and an extra goods lift. Mayor of Wellington Justin Lester described the Town Hall as “Wellington’s best building”. “This is a world-class venue and is a big part of our cultural identity as a city.
“Wellingtonians have told us clearly they want to see this city landmark reopened and made even better, so that’s what we’re going to do. “The new music and performance space will strengthen Wellington’s status as the cultural capital of New Zealand and provide our city with an exciting new attraction.” Victor ia Un iversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford said redeveloping the Town Hall was the first stage in a partnership between Wellington, Victoria University and the NZSO. “We are fully committed to this project, which will
strengthen local communities as well as growing Wellington’s international reputation as a strong civic-minded and creative capital,” Grant said. NZSO’s chief executive Christopher Blake said the Wellington Town Hall was at the heart of the NZSO’s history. “It is where we gave our first performance in 1947.” City councillors would cast their final formal vote on the future of the project at a Council meeting this week. Work on the strengthening project will start in August next year with a view to completion in 2021.
Trees found illegally pruned at dog park
Work to change a busy zebra crossing on Wallace Street, Mount Cook into a pedestrian-operated signalised crossing started at the weekend. The improvement works follow feedback from residents, nearby schools and Massey University. Twenty-five crashes in the vicinity of the crossing have been reported over the past 10 years according to the NZTA Crash Analysis System database. The $150,000 traffic light installation is expected to take four to six weeks depending on weather and will be done outside of peak hours with some night work to minimise disruptions.
Voting packs sent out More than three million packs were out this week as the Electoral Commission launches its campaign to enrol voters for the 2017 General Election. The personalised enrolment update packs were sent to all enrolled voters and would arrive in letterboxes this week. The pack includes a form setting out the individual’s current enrolment details with space to record any changes. If voters did not receive a letter by Friday, they are not enrolled or need to update their details. If an enrolment pack arrives for someone who does not live at the address, it should be marked return to sender and put back in the post.
By Emma McAuliffe
Locals are being told to keep a look out after native trees were found illegally cut down at a dog exercise area in Island Bay. It is an offence to cut down or prune trees on reserve land as this is the responsibility of city council. A resident who lived adjacent to the park on The Esplanade said he had noticed the trees pruned and he was disappointed in whoever did the act. “We’ve got a whole lot of community groups who have been out in the Bay planting trees and to see this is just disappointing,” the resident, who wished not to be named, said. Wellington City Council spokeswoman Victoria Barton-Chapple said council had been alerted to the activity at the park on The Esplanade last Tuesday. “One of our customer liaison arborists attended the site on Wednesday 21 and found several Karo, Coprosma and a Pohutukawa trees situated on the reserve had been illegally
New signalised pedestrian crossing for Wallace Street
Warm up for winter Trees at a dog exercise area in Island Bay have been illegally pruned. PHOTO: Emma McAuliffe
pruned, contravening the Reserves act of 1977,” she said. “We suspect the pruning took place two to six months prior, taking into account the subsequent regrowth of foliage below the cuts.” Victoria said council would be talking to neighbouring properties to find out more
information. “We will be letter dropping at the surrounding properties to make the residents aware that it is illegal to prune the reserve trees, and to try to gain any information as to who carried this out,” she said. The resident who made the complaint said he wished to see
the community on the lookout for their native trees. “I think someone should be prosecuted,” he said. Island Bay Residents Association spokeswoman Vicki Greco said the matter had not been brought to her attention previously however, would be on the lookout.
The Sustainability Trust would be hosting a Warm Up For Winter workshop next month. The workshop will educate people on ways to keep their home warm, dry and healthy this winter with the opportunity to win a heater. The workshop will be held on Thursday, July 13 between 5.30pm and 7pm at the Sustainability Trust EcoCentre at 2 Forresters Lane. Cost is $5. Book at www.sustaintrust.org. nz/events/.
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Cook Strait News 29-06-17