Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Maori Showpiece Canned

Ngai Tahu has canned plans for a huge CBD cultural centre, earmarked as one of the anchor projects in the Christchurch blueprint.
Instead it'll focus on earthquake recovery "at whanau level", and projects like housing schemes are of higher priority.
The cultural centre was one 17 anchor projects unveiled as part of the 2012 Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. It was intended as a welcome point for visitors, and Ngai Tahu was to take the lead.
The plan envisioned a "world class cultural centre... as a focal point for cultural celebration and diversity...(to) reflect and celebrate... maori culture, and acknowledge Christchurch's place in, and connections with, the Pacific."
But the cultural centre has staggered along an uncertain path since then, and few details ever came to light. In 2014, the bros were considering shifting the centre to Cathedral Square, as part of an $80-million "living cathedral" concept. That pie-in-the-sky involved a floating timber canopy connecting the cathedral and the cultural centre.
Quite frankly I'm relieved this joke has died. It always felt like a PC attempt to force a multi-cultural image onto Christchurch, and persuade tourists that maori culture is an integral core of our existence. This may be the case in -say - Rotorua, but not in Christchurch!
Simply consider other similar mis-adventures to see what flops they rapidly became eg: the Tupperwaka in Auckland. If Ngai Tahu wish to advance such an idea in the future, that's fine...on their own land, with their own money! And then they can reap all the rewards too!
But there is no requirement for a huge cultural marae in central Christchurch. It will not advance the city at all, and there's plenty more good that can be done with $80-million of public money than that!
Thank God for a bit of common sense in this rebuild debacle!

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