Good news – the 500-seat Tainui auditorium at Te Wharekura o Arowhenua has been saved for the moment.

I’ve had discussions with the Minister of Education, who has agreed to give the kura representatives three months to show how they would manage and maintain the Tainui auditorium in the future.

The Ministry of Education had intended to demolish the auditorium earlier this year, but the local community was determined to keep it as an asset.

It is used by a wide number of groups, and as I pointed out, the cost of repairing and maintaining it is far less than the demolition costs.  The Minister has agreed subject to the kura ensuring it has a workable plan to own, manage and maintain the facility.

I have the utmost confidence that the kura and the auditorium’s other supporters would find a way that was acceptable to the Ministry.

This is a great asset that would cost millions to build new.  This plan is a great way forward.