Together with the Johnsonville Progressive Association I'm trying to get new signs installed to welcome people to Johnsonville. The signs will be similar in size and style to other signs seen in Glenside, Ngaio, Khandallah and Island Bay, but it's important they are unique and represent Johnsonville.
I'd be interested in people's ideas for designs or whether they have thoughts about a particular location. The City Life newspaper ran an article on the idea last week and they are also collecting feedback on our behalf.
The next step will be to finalise the design and location and then obtain a resource consent. Once we've got that the signs can go up.
Convention centres are all the rage at the moment and the issue is likely to be raised in Wellington shortly.
While Wellington doesn't currently have a modern, purpose built facility of significant scale, between the Michael Fowler Centre, the Town Hall, Westpac Stadium, Te Papa, the Amora Hotel, the Intercontinental Hotel and the newly refurbished Macs Brewery venue, one could argue that their are a plethora of existing options that each offer between 300 - 2200 seats.
Sky City has been selected by the Government to build a new 3500 seat centre national convention centre in Auckland. The company will fund the full $350 million cost and the economic benefit is deemed to be about $90 million a year.
Melbourne's new Convention Centre, completed in 2009 on land adjacent to the existing Melbourne Exhibition Centre, cost A$1 billion. It includes a 5541 seat hall, 32 meeting rooms, a grand banquet room, a Hilton hotel, office, residential and retail space.
Wellington doesn't want or need to compete on this scale, but there's no reason why the quality and setting can't be equally impressive or better. We have a number of existing options, but are they of a sufficient quality to attract quality national or international events? And if we build it will they come? Most importantly, any project needs to have a sound business case and be sure that it ahave a good chance
If something was to be built, a logical solution might be to refurbish an existing waterfront building such as Shed 1, Shed 6 or the TSB Arena. You would be hard pressed to find a more dramatic outlook anywhere in the world and it could add to the waterfront's vibrancy.
So, do we need one and if yes, where will it go? I suspect we might hear more about this over the next year or so.