Roger Sutton Chief Executive Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
Steve Jones, Chair of the Music Centre of Christchurch
Gretchen La Roche CEO Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Neil Cox Managing Director Isaac Theatre Royal
Philip Aldridge Chief Executive The Court Theatre
What a great line up of people that are really the expression of the hopes and dreams of our city for a performing arts precinct.
My heart sank when I learned of the government's intention to put the land purchase for
this precinct on hold, but my sinking heart has been well and truly uplifted as a result of
the announcement today.
After the repair of our homes and our communities there is nothing more important than
the arts for our city's recovery.
We lost so much of the cultural fabric of our city in the earthquake and this announcement
sees that not only restored, but also reinvigorated with the different venues coming
together in the one place.
Although today's announcement focuses on the Music centre, the Council is committed to
working with CERA and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Court Theatre to
make the whole precinct come together as envisaged. We remain committed to investing
$30M as agreed, as well as ensuring there is parking in the area.
I'm really pleased that we have managed to find a way to resolve the arrangements around
the precinct and I particularly like the way we are now working jointly with the
government on this exciting project. I want to acknowledge Warwick Isaacs and the
extraordinary efforts he has gone to make this happen with his team.
Although different projects had different leads under our cost sharing agreement with the
Government, I like the feel of the joint venture that this has now become. And what a great
joint venture to be involved in with the Government if not with the performing arts.
I have spoken of how there is nothing more that the people of Christchurch like than to see
the Minister and I as Mayor of Christchurch standing side-by-side in a partnership
arrangement, which this now represents.
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. The arts are the window to a city's soul.
It is through art that we can see things that are often hidden from view. We can experience
things through the creativity of others. We can hear the truth at times when that is
sometimes hidden from view as well. We can be moved to places that transcend the lives
we are leading. The arts can truly lead our inner recovery and create places where we can
laugh and cry and where we can enjoy life. .
So from that perspective this announcement foreshadows the life and soul that will be
restored to our city and it is welcome indeed.