After years of community organising, Green MP for Auckland Central Chlöe Swarbrick is thrilled to announce today alongside Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Carmel Sepuloni Government funding for restoration of the St James Theatre in Auckland’s city centre.

“We did it. With many hands, years of work and a whole lot of creative campaigning, we’ve secured the restoration of the St James Theatre, confirming Government funding to match and unlock legacy Council budget commitments,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.

“Tāmaki Makaurau is a UNESCO City of Music and the time is now to make the investment necessary to live up to that. We have all of the ingredients – limitless talent, immense passion and creativity, and now, an incredible ‘new’ venue on the horizon – to carve out a unique international identity as a thriving arts and cultural hub. We’ve always just needed local and central Government to recognise and resource it.

“I want to thank the thousands of people who played a part in making this a reality. Those who signed our open letter to the Minister, joined our events to rally support and helped keep the spotlight on the issue. It’s only because of this coordinated effort that today’s announcement happened.

“Across the Mayor’s Office and Ministry, we’ve confirmed that shovels should be able to get in the ground within a year. That means we should hopefully be able to restore this jewel in our Arts Precinct before its 100th birthday in just five years’ time, when tens of thousands of people will also happen to be spilling out of the new CRL stations and a city centre revived by more critical projects like this.

“This right here is proof of concept that organising and sustained campaigning works. It’s a win that will keep up spirits for ongoing organising for an all the more people-friendly city centre,” says Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

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