Taxpayers’ Union Baffled by Wellington City Council’s Corporate Bailout
Responding to news that Wellington City Council is planning to buy the land under the currently earthquake-prone Reading cinema complex and re-strengthen the building, Taxpayers’ Union Head of Campaigns Callum Purves said:
“The Reading Cinema may be a dead spot in the heart of the City Centre, but that doesn’t mean the Council needs to step in.“Just earlier this week we saw with Wellington’s Town Hall just how costly these earthquake-strengthening projects turn out to be. It’s just as likely that another massive budget blowout is on the cards with this proposal.
“If Reading International won’t take on the restrengthening itself, then the Council needs to accept that. Should a private buyer choose to purchase and redevelop the land in the future, the Council should ensure that the consenting process – including the demolition option – is as smooth as possible, but that’s all it needs to do.
“This is just another example corporate favouritism at the expense of the ratepayer. Wellington residents are already facing a double-digit rate increase this year. A project of this magnitude will only guarantee further rate hikes and continue to burden Wellingtonians."