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Ratepayers losing $3m annual rent from movie museum

News from Taxpayers Union
Wellington ratepayers will be footing the bill for up to $3 million every year in lost rent as the Council loses the key tenant in its planned convention centre, warns the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says: “The Wellington City Council’s starry-eyed desire to enter a high-risk partnership has exposed ratepayers to enormous cost.”

“It appears the Council never fully established how much of the cost Sir Peter’s team was willing to cover before signing off on the project. It’s remarkably similar to how Sir Peter’s Great War museum was funded without first ensuring the Government had a long-term lease on the planned location.”

“The Council would never had signed off on a $180 million building if they’d known they wouldn’t have their key tenant. They are unlikely to consistently find other exhibitors willing to pay $250,000 a month in rent.”

“The dual disasters of Wellington’s Great War exhibition and film museum should serve as a lesson for politicians eager to spend public money cosying up to Hollywood stars.”