Forum North plan - Northern Advocate – 23rd March 2013
In response to Northern Advocate, ’Move eyed by council’. I have to support that it would possibly be an advantage to have all council staff under one roof, but let us ask, at what cost.
Forum North is the ‘home’ of our present district council. It has entertainment facilities with the Capitaine Bougainville Theatre, Kotahitanga Expo Hall, Cafler Suite, Bounty Room, rehearsal areas, an existing council chamber, numerous offices and a now unused restaurant area.
There have also been plans, muted on a number of occasions, for extensions to be carried out to develop a new auditorium on this site.
With Forum North’s close proximity to our awesome public library, the grand Old Library, our working partners Northland Regional Council and good car parking, I’d sincerely question the move. I know we are suffering from a drought in the region at present, so what is our district council’s secret recipe in maintaining their ‘money tree’ to grow? Our aim currently should certainly be to reduce our large debt in these difficult times, but futuristically, we could treat this as potentially a plan of expansion when finances allow, so it becomes a priority.
We must let common sense prevail and if proven to be financially viable, extend the present facility to encompass the staff that it needs to accommodate, if and when the leases of those presently occupied in satellite premises, are due to expire.
To shift to a purpose built facility at present would cost a large amount of money, let alone to find a suitable area for all the other facilities already in close proximity to Forum North.
Looking around our CBD I and others find it difficult to find an existing building to contain the approximately 333 staff and provide all those facilities already experienced at Forum North’s location.
(Items that were abridged by Northern Advocate are in italics, for their published copies)