Why is a National MP wanting to fund a theatre?

via Stuff

via Stuff

Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith seems to have planted himself firmly in the middle of the “Wet” or “Nikki Kaye” wing of the National Party. He reckons that the mismanaged theatre project should be fully funded.

The Marlborough District Council has increased the ASB Theatre Marlborough’s annual operating grant to $390,000.

The decision has been made and it is now time to move forward.

I was disappointed not to have been able to personally attend the council meeting, due to my commitments in Parliament.

However I watched Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman’s speech on stuff.co.nz and I was impressed with the strong leadership he showed that day, as he has shown throughout this difficult matter.

As he said in that speech, this theatre is an asset to our community, and the way forward is to find constructive solutions to make it work here and now, and not to walk away.

Let’s get this straight: Stuart Smith is a National MP. He is supposed to be fiscally conservative, not in favour of pissing away public money. He is supposed to be in favour of prudent government and sensible spending decisions. Yet he makes a statement to throw public money at the theatre.

The big issue is not the $390,000 per annum that is already earmarked to keep the theatre afloat. It is the $5m debt that the theatre has incurred and that the theatre trust want the council to pay.

Stuart Smith needs to tell voters in Kaikoura whether or not the theatre trust deserve an unlimited budget to fund a project that the luvvies want but most of Marlborough will scarcely ever use.


– Stuff

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