Interesting that Wellington City Council is involved in a long-running saga around a large-scale build of a convention centre/movie museum to be built opposite Te Papa. Also involved is Sir Peter Jackson as tenant apparent, leasing three-four floors for a movie museum.
The numbers are mind-blowing: $80m price tag, annual losses just $4m for WCC ratepayers to pay! Sounds like a genuine bargain right?
Not so, with costs to build skyrocketing well over $150m without certainty, losses increasing even more, Sir Peter getting cold feet, WCC getting itself more involved (fatal) and estimates of paying attendees dropping from 500,000 to 88,000 before any agreement, never mind to start building. The aspirations here look like WCC ratepayers will need a bigger and more robust WCC to contain all this creativity and excesses to avoid massive debt overflow of biblical proportions.
The usual issues arise: who borrows the money, who pays the debt, who is paying the losses every year and who walks away scot-free? The usual game here is to leave WCC ratepayers with all the dreams and hopes but when it all goes to General Custer all the usual suspects have all vanished, leaving the WCC ratepayers with all the debt and no escape from any of it.
I Stevenson, Tauranga (Abridged).