Paul Lonsdale is the most serious contender for Lianne Dalziel’s bid for the mayoralty, but that isn’t saying much. He should be taken about as seriously as Shane Jones’s bid for Labour leader – not going to get anywhere but will boost his profile. It will probably see Lonsdale elected to council in Hagley-Ferrymead, though that would be a shame, given how little he seems to understand things.

If you go to his campaign website, he has a page about Arts and Culture;

This decision should not have been for this current council to make. If elected as mayor, I would gauge the views of the new council and we may see a completely different sentiment.

Now, this reflects the line that the Minister and the Press have been pushing, but it’s crap. Why should the decision have been taken away from the current council? For no apparent reason apart from the fact he doesn’t like the decision that was made. The council had plenty of information. They had been discussing it for more than a year. What is the role of elected councillors if not to make decisions? If they should have deferred this decision, then why not any other decision? Why don’t they just give everything up, go on holiday and defer all decisions to the next council? Or the one after that?

Personally, $127m is far too greater cost and places the entire performing arts precinct at risk.

Places the entire performing arts precinct at risk. Sorry, what? Places a hypothetical precinct that only exists on paper at risk? Come off it. We didn’t have a “performing arts precinct” before the quakes, so complaining about it being “put at risk” rings hollow to me.

The architect is still alive so we would be better to engage him to design a new Town Hall on better and safer land right in the heart of the performing arts precinct.

Sir Miles Warren is well into his 80’s, but we should go against his will (he made personal submissions to save the Town Hall at council), knock the building down and then ask a man in his 80’s to redesign something new? Seriously?

The cost to do this is about half the cost to restore to the current town hall.

So Lonsdale thinks you could build a new town hall for ~ $60 million – half the cost of restoring the current one. Any evidence of that? No. He has a picture of the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing; cost to construct – $600 million.