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Auckland’s Heart

Alongside this is the criticism of Auckland city that it ‘lacks a heart’.

As a passionate Aucklander I have always taken exception to this statement. Auckland has many hearts, found in all the many villages and centres that make up the greater whole and most assuredly on display with the recent support for Christchurch and Samoa.
 
But there is validity in the criticism when it comes to a visual and cultural centre for the city. The Skytower presents a focal point but it is not located in what one could describe as the centre of the cty. Nor, I would suggest, should the focal and cultural centre for Auckland have a casino as its base.  And such a building is hardly unique to Auckland.
The various arts venues around the city, including our magnificent War Memorial Museum and our stunning new Auckland Art Gallery are also not unique in their concept, notwithstanding their local flavour.

Rather than a venue that caters to tourists with a ‘Show and Tell’ theme however glitzy it may be, or a new university that would have to be funded from an already too small a budget for tertiary education, we need a venue that provides a clear symbol of the New Auckland we want to see come into being – one that embodies authenticity and recognition of our country’s distinctive elements in a compelling, creative and innovative way.