Public to be consulted about Fortune building

The Fortune Theatre building. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
The Fortune Theatre building. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
The Dunedin public will have a say on the future of the former Fortune Theatre building, but any action to repurpose it will not take place until next year.

The building has been unoccupied since May, when the Fortune Board of Trustees closed the theatre because it was no longer financially viable.

Dunedin City Council property services group manager Dave Bainbridge said the council was looking after the building and keeping it watertight.

It was listed as one of the council's strategic assets, and no major changes could be undertaken before public consultation.

He expected that would happen next year.

"The closure of the Fortune Theatre was not something that was planned.

"It's a case of planning it into our busy workload.''

Under the council's significance and engagement policy, there is a list of assets considered strategically important to "achieve and promote the current or future wellbeing of the community''.

That list includes the Dunedin Botanic Garden, the Forsyth Barr Stadium, Moana Pool and 22 other assets, including the Fortune Theatre.

Under the policy, the council is required to, at a minimum, engage the community using a special consultative procedure if there are significant changes to ownership or control of the assets.

Mr Bainbridge said there was no funding for the building in the council's long-term plan.

It would require funding if it was to be fixed up for a new tenant.

Whether that was an option or whether the building would be sold would need to be considered.

A report would go the council, probably in the first half of next year.



It's like teeth pulling watching how this council operates. More reports, plans and public consultations. It's like no one wants to make decisions anymore and be liable for their actions. Meanwhile a former asset turns into yet another liability.


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