26 Jul 2023

St James Theatre: Cash from govt, threat from mayor

From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am on 26 July 2023

Auckland's dilapidated St James Theatre has been given a cash injection from the government - but the city's mayor says a matching Council payment won't be made unless construction is underway by next July. Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced a $15m contribution to the restoration of the St James - which has been closed for 15 years - to sit alongside funding from Auckland Council and the owner. But the New Zealand Herald reported this morning Mayor Wayne Brown had written to the Minister, to say the $15 million set aside by Council in 2016 would only be available until June 30 next year. He described it as "impetus" for the restoration to move forward and suggested if construction wasn't underway the Council would recommend the building is demolished. The St James is designated a Category 1 heritage building. So when WILL work begin on the St James? Kathryn talks to the building's owner Steve Bielby from Auckland Notable Properties Trust

Inside the damaged St James Theatre today.

Inside the damaged St James Theatre today. Photo: RNZ / Soumya Bhamidipati