Separate to the estimated $50 million capital cost of
constructing a convention centre is the $305,000 spent so far
in consultant costs by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.
The figure, obtained by the Otago Daily Times via an
Official Information Act request, relates to the centre whose
development is being led by the council on land known as
Lakeview, which sits above the CBD.
The council's chief executive Adam Feeley said the costs were
incurred to enable it to make more informed decisions on the
development potential of Lakeview and the merits of a
convention centre for the district and also to enable the
public to be properly informed.
The $305,191.02 is funded from internal savings within the
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden said the level of
expertise required could not be found within the council.
''The reality is that in order to give our community and our
councillors a level of comfort around such a significant
commitment we need comprehensive analysis undertaken that
requires a level of expertise that we do not have
`in-house','' Ms van Uden said.
And, ''unfortunately, that comes at a cost'' she said.
''The positive is that the investment has a twofold benefit,
not only the convention centre but the wider understanding we
are gaining regarding the future development of one of the
more significant parcels of council land, namely the Lakeview
Valuation and advisory costs for the development of the
Lakeview site has been the highest consultant spending at
$61,216, followed by architectural costs for preliminary
design work for the convention centre at $48,950.
Public consultation for the convention centre has cost
$12,134, architectural costs for the master-planning of the
Lakeview site is at $33,500 and an economic impact assessment
has cost $32,371.
Prime Minister John Key, while in Queenstown yesterday, again
reiterated the challenge for the council was the district's
''very small rating base''.
Mr Feeley has previously said councillors would discuss
rating implications and options for the proposed centre later
On Saturday, the ODT reported Mr Key said the
Government had ''tacitly given an indication it's prepared to
put in cash''.
''The issue is: is it enough? The answer is no on current
funding proposals but nor are we necessarily looking to put
in a lot more.''