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Waterfront deals and names

Wellington.Scoop
There is a strangely familiar report in the DomPost this morning, about a waterfront sponsorship deal with the TSB Bank. But the deal isn’t a new one – it was announced five months ago.

The announcement was made on October 31, when the city council said it had signed a ten-year agreement with TSB Bank giving it the rights to continue its brand association and leverage with the TSB Bank Arena, and also with the adjacent Shed 6 convention centre.

The October announcement also described how the new deal would include refurbishment of the exteriors of both buildings.

Today’s DomPost report makes it sound as if the refurbishment is a new decision. But there is one piece of new information. The paper quotes Ian Pike of the city council’s recently-created City Shapers group as giving a reason for the work. He says recladding is needed to fix leaks so that the arena can be kept open for users such as the World of WearableArt. (The leaks weren’t mentioned in October’s announcement.)

arena

Mr Pike also talks about a “fresh look” for the southern end of the building, which was originally known as an events centre. The design for the “fresh look” looks dreadful – a throwback to when the building was known as a “Russian ablution block” after it was completed in 1995.

And as for the new City Shapers group. It’s hard to find on the city council website, but eventually you discover that it’s actually a singular name, and that it was previously known as Wellington Waterfront Ltd. The website, confused about whether or not the waterfront company still exists, states:

Wellington Waterfront Limited is a Council-controlled organisation. In July 2014 it transitioned into Wellington City Council as a business unit (City Shaper) with a changed brief to extend beyond the waterfront and include a wider responsibility in other parts of the city with a focus on place shaping, project management and urban design.

Let’s hope that its next venture into urban design will come up with something of better quality than the south wall of the old ablution block events centre.