Green Party MP for Auckland Central, Chlöe Swarbrick has released an exclusive video showing for the first time the extent of the damage done to St. James Theatre during a recent break-in.
“We are one Government decision, one budget commitment, away from being able to revive the St James - a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide the space and place the creatives and community in our city deserve,” says Green Party MP for Auckland Central, Chlöe Swarbrick.
“This decision can’t be kicked down the road anymore, with recent break-ins and damage exposing the building to weather and rain, meaning it’s fast accumulating foundation-eroding dampness.
“You’ve got to see this first hand. That’s why we’ve got the cameras rolling, to show New Zealanders not only the extensive damage, but what we’re at risk of losing.
“The St James stitches Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s arts precinct; sitting between Queen Street and our Central City Library, its revival is the revival not only of that entire block, but secures the street’s status as a buzzing destination. It’s the venue we’ve all been missing; for artists looking to grow without yet reaching commercial radio play needed to fill Spark Arena.
“There’s never been a lack of ferocious support for the St James, but there have been inexplicable political delays to successive Government’s appetite to meet Auckland Council’s $15million commitment to make this happen. The buck stops here. We will lose this Category A historical building if we do not get urgent action.
“I urge everyone to take this video tour with Steve Bielby and me around the building, to see for themselves what’s at stake. Anyone wanting to help can start by signing our open letter calling on the Government to come to the party and get St. James back to its former glory, for all to enjoy.”