WDC Long Term Plan 2024-2034 submission

We suggest that you may like to give your views about the future use of Forum North in final section of the LONG TERM PLAN consultation document, under the bulleted selection "Community Facilities and Services" or "Other".

Submission close Thursday 25 April 2024.

These are some of the viewpoints expressed by – and to –  members of the WFS committee over the past few weeks. Comments include –

The WDC needs to make clear to Whangarei ratepayers and stakeholders what ideas and interest has been shown in re-developing the Forum North venue in light of it becoming vacant; this should be the cultural hub to support the Forum North Entertainment venues and events.

Support for a Lyric Theatre as proposed by the Forum North Trust (2013) to be able to provide art and cultural events for people of the Whangarei District. The Capitaine Bougainville Theatre to be made more multi-functional for events.

Facilities need to be upgraded at Forum North to make the current entertainment venues more multi-purpose. The Capitaine Bougainville Theatre should be able to support state-of-the-art theatre and cinema equipment that will allow it to be used by a range of community groups and out-of-town productions, thus generating income, jobs and venues that support our growing population.

Value Forum North as a significant district asset. FN is not currently accessible  – financially and physically – to the public and community organisations despite it being funded (past and present) by ratepayers; many local groups are choosing other venues as hire costs prohibit FN venues being an option, with preference given for sporadic out-of-town productions that generate higher income for short-term gains. Concern that the WDC do not cater or value the contribution that a wide range of community groups within our district provide for people.

Provide significant investment into upgrading Forum North. Currently it is under-utilised with only one event being able to be held at some times. For example, Whangarei Film Society film nights are not booked due to another event scheduled and that holding two events simlltaneously is causing ‘over-capacity’ issues. Investment into upgrading Forum North to be able to hold more than one large event at a time. Investment to include sound-proofing, upgrading fire and emergency equipment, a new fit-for-purpose lift, parking infrastructure, staffing etc.

There is a public drop-in session on Thursday 11 April (4pm – 6pm) at – Te Iwitahi Civic building (Rust Ave) public drop-in session – see their website for other public drop-in sessions.

Link to the WDC website https://www.wdc.govt.nz/Whats-new/Have-your-say/Current-Consultations/LTP-Consultation-2024

… submissions close on Thursday 25 April.