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Thursday December 20, 2018

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Santa encourages locals to come together for Christmas Day Continued from page 1. Everybody’s Christmas Picnic will be held at Carrera Park at noon on December 25. It is being organised by a collective made up of the Newtown Residents’ Association, Newtown Festival Trust, The City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, St Thomas Church, The Salvation Army and Kia Ora

Newtown. Last year’s Christmas picnic attracted around 120 people and Santa and organisers are hoping for even more this time. Food will be provided by food “rescue” charity Kaibosh and there will also be a presence from the Downtown Community Ministry and the Sisters of Compassion Soup

Kitchen, as well as Petrushka the Russian Clown. Spokesman Ray Tuffin says it’s especially good that all these charities are coming together for Christmas, something that would have been inconceivable two years ago. Locals are also encouraged to turn up to the Salvation Army Hope Centre on Riddiford St

at 10am to celebrate Christmas with a carol service. Met Service is predicting generally settled conditions for most of the country on Christmas Day. However it will keep a close eye on the position of a trough to the north, in case it decides to sink south and put a dampener on the Christmas barbecue.

Business group pleased as convention centre gets green light Wellington City Councillors have voted to proceed with a Convention and Exhibition Centre (CEC) which they say will create hundreds of jobs and provide stimulus for further regeneration in the CBD. The Council’s City Strategy Committee passed the recommendation unanimously last Thursday. The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000 square-metres of floor space, will be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa. It has a net cost of $154.3 million and the council aims for it to be rated Five Green Stars, which represents “New Zealand Excellence”, by the NZ Green Building Council. It is estimated the CEC will boost Wellington’s GDP by $44.8 million a year and employ people in 550 jobs once it is operating. The council anticipates construction, which will employ 864, will start in August 2019 and should take three years. “I am delighted we are able

What the planned Convention and Exhibition Centre will look like from Cable St. IMAGE: WCC

to start on this project,” says Wellington Mayor Justin Lester. “This has been more than five years in the making. “We have an ambitious social programme to improve things for all Wellingtonians, and we need to ensure the Wellington economy is growing so we can help fund it. “We’ve budgeted for the CEC in the Long-Term Plan and local businesses are eager to see it happen.” Councillor Simon Marsh, who holds the Economic Develop-

ment Portfolio, says the centre will ensure the city can remain competitive when Auckland and Christchurch are also building convention centres. “It is anticipated that more than 100 new events will be attracted to the Wellington market each year, bringing almost 150,000 additional delegate days and the related economic benefits.” The Wellington Chamber of Commerce says the decision is great news for the city’s economy.

“This new proposal for the convention centre will give Wellington a fit-for-purpose venue that local businesses say the city really needs if it is to continue to grow,” says chief executive John Milford. He says if the city wants to grow its revenue it, in turn, has to support the growth of its local businesses and this is a great opportunity to do that. “Its location will better link Te Papa with Courtenay Place, and is in an area that needs regeneration.” Dentists

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