The blue baths Tuesday with a cordon around the front of the building. Photo / Andrew Warner

LDR_STRAP

The chairman of one of Rotorua’s taxpayer groups said the Rotorua Lakes Council “again failed to keep a secret” about the closure of the city’s famous blue baths.

However, the council, which cited structural integrity issues as the reason for the closure, says it will reveal more information once discussions with the tenant are finalized.

Reynold Macpherson, who is also a councilor, says he was “surprised” to learn of the shutdown, and only learned about it when Local Democracy Reporting revealed it on Monday.

His comments come as a cordon fence was erected at the front of the building on Tuesday morning.

Macpherson said he believes the council needs to provide more information to the public.

“They don’t take the public with them.”

He said his group was “disappointed that the council once again does not keep secrecy.”

“If the Rotorua Museum and the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Center are guides, residents and taxpayers are just supposed to take the bulk of the note.”

He said he supported a restoration “to open the doors” but not a redevelopment.

Rotorua Residents and Taxpayers President and Rotorua Lakes Councilor Reynold Macpherson.  Photo / File
Rotorua Residents and Taxpayers President and Rotorua Lakes Councilor Reynold Macpherson. Photo / File

He said he believed the redevelopments of the museum and the performing arts center had been “very expensive projects … on the run” and feared the Blue Baths were the same.

Evolve spokesman Ben Sandford said he was also anxious to see the doors to the 88-year-old building reopen.

“The Blue Baths have a rich history and it is a magnificent building in a beautiful setting.

“Whatever the problems, [Evolve] hope they can be resolved quickly and we can start using it again. “

On Tuesday afternoon, a council spokesperson said the council had yet to provide information on the closure as it was still in discussions with the tenant, Plenty Group.

“Once these discussions are completed, we will provide more information on what is happening at the Blue Baths.

“As we said yesterday, [the] The council has been working on options to better secure the site and ensure the surrounding area is safe.

“The construction of fences in certain areas has been deemed appropriate at this time. Again, there is no immediate risk to people in the vicinity of the building.”

The building has been closed since January 26 of this year.  Photo / File
The building has been closed since January 26 of this year. Photo / File

Plenty Group chief executive Jo Romanes told Local Democracy Reporting she declined to comment “while discussions are ongoing with the council over the fate of the building.”

The matter will be discussed at this week’s Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting in a confidential section, in accordance with the meeting agenda. The reason given for it being confidential was due to commercial sensitivity.

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Source: www.nzherald.co.nz
This notice was published: 2021-06-01 06:00:22

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