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Statement on Hamilton City Council’s engagement with Waikato communities over the future of Founders Theatre, Hamilton

Following news that Hamilton City Council will be engaging with residents across the Waikato region on the future of Founders Theatre, Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson says the District Council has not discussed the future of Hamilton’s Founders Theatre nor has it made any commitment to help fund it.


Mayor Sanson, who also chairs the Waikato Mayoral Forum, says, “There is a wider discussion to be had about developing a regional approach to arts infrastructure overall before any single facility is treated as a regional amenity on an ad hoc basis.”


“In principle Waikato District Council supports regional and sub-regional facilities, and we are prepared to enter discussions about the need for a regional and sub-regional approach to infrastructure that may be required.  For example, as part of the Waikato Plan, this Council has endorsed a regional sports facilities plan supported by the Waikato Mayoral Forum,” he says.


“We have also been presented with a report commissioned by Creative Waikato on the need for long-term regional and strategic planning for arts infrastructure. This Council has not yet formally discussed the Creative Waikato report, nor has it discussed the future of Founders Theatre or whether or not it is a regional asset.”


Mayor Sanson’s comments follow news of an initiative by Hamilton City Council to engage with both its own residents as well as residents of communities in surrounding districts on the future of Founders Theatre, and to seek feedback from around the region through an online and telephone survey.


Hamilton City Council closed Founders Theatre on March 1 after an independent report indicated the venue’s flying system was at risk of failure.

For more information please contact:
Crystal Beavis
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633