Strong support for movie museum and convention centre

21 March 2016

Strong support for Wellington’s proposed movie museum and convention centre was expressed by most people who spoke to today’s meeting of Wellington City Council’s Governance, Finance and Planning Committee.

The committee heard about 20 submitters, most of whom gave their backing to the proposed $134 million facility to be built opposite Te Papa on Cable Street.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says: “Positive enthusiasm for the world class Movie Museum tells us we were right to speed up its development. We reassured submitters that, as well as the new Convention Centre, the Council is committed to strengthening the Town Hall for music performance and recording.”

Wellington Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, who chairs the committee, says more than 100 submissions were received on the proposal in the past month. He says an initial reading of submissions indicated overwhelming support for the proposal.

“And it was great to hear a number of groups and individuals take the trouble to come and lend their support to the proposal,” says Cr Lester.

“We heard that Wellington can become an extraordinary and genuinely international capital city if various pieces in the necessary jigsaw puzzle – like an airport runway extension and the Movie Museum and Convention Centre – can be built and linked together.”

Councillor Jo Coughlan, Chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee, says senior Wellington business leaders were prominent among the submitters. “Not surprisingly the hotel and hospitality sectors were well-represented. They left the committee in little doubt that they want the movie museum and convention centre to happen.”

The Council has already agreed in principle to support the proposal for a combined facility and purchase the land which has boundaries on Cable Street and Wakefield Street, says Cr Coughlan.

“The Movie Museum is estimated to draw over 300,000 people per annum once it’s up and running, the Convention Centre will grow Wellington’s convention market, and the combination of the two will contribute an estimated $38 million GDP each year for the local economy,” she said.

The Council would be partnering with private interests headed by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger to deliver the movie museum.

If the project is finally approved, the Council will construct the three-level building. It will include a convention centre on the top floor. The Movie Museum will lease the lower two floors from Council and fit out and operate the space.