If you haven’t read Barnaby Bennett’s take on the Town Hall, you really should. It is a comprehensive summary of the argument that is well referenced and provides some much-needed perspective. He talks about the way Brownlee has framed the argument – and this should be something that echoes beyond just Christchurch, as he’s doing the same deceptive dance on Auckland transport.
I would like us to not get caught up in the framing that Minister Brownlee is making of this. It is only the CCDU that has set up this weird choice that either we have a Town Hall or an Arts Precinct. Or as he puts it, ‘You can either have your old broken run down past it used by date Town Hall, or you can have a new state of the art shiny fantastic arts precinct.’ To which I’d reply ‘You can keep your world renowned Town Hall that has served the city so proudly for the past forty years and has some of the best acoustics in the world or you can have an uncosted sketch of an idea with no details, no business case, or no idea of the desired quality.’