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GISBORNE | News + Updates

4449 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  whooodaman
Welcome to the thread of Gisborne, the north-east corner of New Zealand. News, updates and projects from: Gisborne City and Gisborne Region.
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The War Memorial Theatre​

The current theatre is a great asset for the district. Many local performing arts groups use it and touring performances usually perform to a packed house. But its size and condition are limiting the performances that can come to Gisborne and it has reached the point where it should be replaced so that the city has a first class facility for the next 30 years.

What we plan to do
We are committed to fully upgrading the War Memorial Theatre on its current site in Bright Street.
The auditorium will be enlarged so it can seat 540 people. The improvements planned also include a full upgrade of the stage and backstage areas, a larger entrance, improved toilets and a modern kitchen area. The front of the theatre will be upgraded to bring it in line with modern theatres around the country.

Why it’s needed
The theatre seats 420 people at the moment. Many shows will only play to an audience of 500 or more. The backstage is run down, the roof leaks, there are not enough toilets. The theatre needs a lot of maintenance and soon if it is to meet acceptable health and safety standards. A rebuild on the current site is considered the most cost effective way to give the district a first class facility for many years to come.

Other options considered
1. Do nothing: The building would need a lot of money spent on maintenance. Otherwise it will become increasingly run down, less touring shows would perform here and it is likely the theatre would close.
2. New theatre – new location: Council looked at building a new theatre at the Lawson Field site. This would cost around $12m. We think this is too expensive for the district.

The cost
Cost - $7.17m
Council contribution - $2.51m (30%)
External funding - $5.02m (70%)
Construction - beginning 2012/13 and completed 2014/2015

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Tairawhiti Navigations & Inner Harbour​

Tairāwhiti has a unique and rich heritage based around Māori and European navigational stories, contact and settlement. The Tairāwhiti Navigations project is about unlocking the tourism and economic potential of the Gisborne region through interpreting and celebrating our rich culture and heritage. A cultural heritage trail through Gisborne’s Inner Harbour, Titirangi Reserve and other key sites is proposed. A series of walkways, bridges and lookouts including interpretive signage will help to bring our stories and traditions to life. These developments will also complement the upgrade of the Inner Harbour making it attractive and vibrant. The project has progressed over the last 5 years with funding from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Eastland Community Trust and Eastland Infrastructure. Initially the Inner Harbour upgrade and Navigations were considered different projects. However to prevent overlapping plans Council has decided they should progress as a single project.

What we plan to do
The project includes developing light infrastructure and stories at key sites in the region. Sites will be linked by walkways and paths including:
* A path from the museum to the marina
* A boardwalk to the slipway in the middle of the harbour
* A walkway attached to the railway bridge across the Turanganui River
* Walkways connecting the Inner Harbour to Titirangi and the Cook Landing site
* A new lookout on Titirangi overlooking the Cook Landing monument
* A walkway from Te Poho o Rawiri Marae to the top of Titirangi
* A bridge over the river to Waikanae Beach
* New road layout, better parking and landscaping around the Inner Harbour.

Overtime, the Tairāwhiti Navigations project will extend to other navigational sites in the district such as Whangara, Tolaga Bay and Cooks Cove.

The cost
Cost - $12.55m
Council contribution - $4.03m (32%)
External funding - $8.52m (68%)
Construction - beginning 2012/13 and completed 2019/20

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Walking and Cycling​

Gisborne's walkway / cycleway that follows the river from the Peel Street bridge to Waikanae is well-used and enjoyed. In polls, at public meetings and in submissions more cycle and walkways is one of the things you most want from Council.

What we plan to do
Council intends to extend the existing city cycle and walkway in three sections:
1. Waikanae Beach – from Customhouse Street to Midway Surf Club. Cost: $650k. Construction - beginning 2012/13 and completed 2014/15
2. Beside Waikanae Creek - Grey Street through Alfred Cox Park to Stanley Road. Cost: $708k. Construction - beginning 2012/13 and completed 2015/16
3. Along Taruheru River – From Bright Street to Campion Road. Cost: $2.2m. Construction - beginning 2015/16 and completed 2020/21

Council is proposing to pay $1.2 million of the design and build costs using its Financial Contributions Reserve Fund, meaning the project won’t be paid for from rates. Council hopes the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will pay the remaining $2.4 million. Council has a walking and cycling strategy that is dependent on New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) funding which at this stage is due to be revised. If NZTA do not fund the project Council plans to pay for the three extensions using all of the Financial Contributions Reserves Fund, which stands at $2.25million, and loans to pay for the rest.
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The Olympic Pool

The Olympic Pool is a popular facility for our community but it is 40 years old and is getting run down. Council plans to redevelop the pool in the next 5-6years. We will consider exactly what needs to be included in the project during 2012/13. Council plans to pay for 30% of the development – estimated $30million - with the rest to come from other funding organisations.

The cost
* Cost -$30.19m
* Council contribution - $9.66m (30%)
* External funding - $20.53m (70%)
* Construction - beginning 2017/18 and completed 2019/20

Why it's needed
The pool is getting old and requiring more and more money to keep it operating to the standards expected. Parts of the facility are considered to have 5 years left before they need replacing. The Olympic Pool Complex does not have a lot of facilities – like a café, retail shop, learn to swim pool etc – and therefore has limited opportunities to increase its income.
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Locals wanted for War Memorial Theatre build​
A redeveloped War Memorial Theatre moved a step closer this week. Gisborne District Council expects to be ready to invite ‘Registrations of Interest’ for the construction of the theatre by the middle of this month (March 2013). Resource consent has been approved, says Engineering and Works Group Manager Peter Higgs. “We expect building consent to be approved next week.”

“This is a major project for Gisborne. It has been designed by Roger Shand, New Zealand’s most experienced theatre architect. The redeveloped theatre will have a larger capacity and better staging facilities to meet national touring group requirements. It is going to look fantastic when it is finished and will attract bigger and better shows to the city.”

“We are giving local contractors some warning that this is coming up. It is anticipated that construction will start on 1 July 2013 and that the theatre will be reopened late 2014 or early in 2015.”

‘We are putting together information for those who may be thinking about tendering for all, or part, of the construction. This will enable contractors to assess the project as to whether they have the staff, equipment and availability required. Construction will be split into two contracts. Stage one is the build and foundation work. Stage two, which will begin later next year, is the theatre services fit out.”

Council wants to encourage local contractors to play a part in this construction process; be that as an individual business or as part of a consortium with other businesses.

“We will be looking to contract companies with the experience and skills to do a great job and we are keen to keep the money that has been raised in Gisborne staying in Gisborne. I can be contacted if anyone wants more information,” says Mr Higgs.

The build is only possible thanks to the efforts of the War Memorial Theatre Gisborne Trust who have been fundraising for the redevelopment since May 2012. The trust has now reached the $4m milestone. Council will contribute $2.15m and the trust has banked or had pledged $4.144m. The total cost of the project is approximately $7.5m.

Construction can only start when most of the funds have been raised.
One of the popular ways people can support the project is to “buy-a-seat”, says Trust Chair Pat Seymour. “By purchasing a $250 sponsorship individuals or families can have their name engraved on a plaque that will be secured to one of theatre’s new seats.”

“The War Memorial Theatre holds a special place in the hearts of many Gisborne people. Buying a seat is a tangible way to help preserve the city’s cultural history and ensure the theatre is a special place for Gisborne people in the future. There are still 200 seats available. We are keen to make contact with more supporters”

A brochure and contact details for all the trust members are available on Council’s website or people can collect a brochure from Customer Services in Fitzherbert Street.
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War Memorial Theatre Redevelopment​
The War Memorial Theatre Gisborne Trust has the responsibility to raise $5.35 million for the theatre redevelopment. Gisborne District Council has already committed $2.15m towards the redevelopment. However, they will not be in a position to call for tenders until most of the funds are raised. The final cost is approximately $7.5m.

The War Memorial Theatre is now recognised as the 'only theatre suitable for large scale productions' in Gisborne. However, after nearly 40 years and countless performances, time is catching up. Every area of the current building will be upgraded and fully earthquake strengthened to create a modern, safe, functional theatre. The existing building will be enhanced by a new fly-tower and glass foyer area designed to create an up-to-date feel while retaining the iconic modernist design. The stage will be bigger and the auditorium remodelled to seat up to 550. Backstage a new scene dock, fly-rigging and additional dressing rooms will bring bigger, more technical shows to Gisborne. In the foyer a cafe/bar will add to the modern, comfortable surroundings and create the best possible theatre experience.

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Kainga Ora plans for Gladstone Road housing shock nearby residents.

New Builds: An artist's impression of the Kainga Ora housing development planned for a site in Gladstone Road. Pictures supplied

Empty land: The section in Gladstone Road where the Kainga Ora housing complex is to be built. The land has been vacant for many years. Picture by Liam Clayton
More here
‘Too high, too many’
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