Rodney’s Mayor questions ARC’s land purchase

Press Release – Mayor Penny Webster

Mayor Penny Webster says she is appalled by the Auckland Regional Council’s announcement today of its $15 million purchase of land on the Mahurangi Coast in the Rodney District. Rodney’s Mayor questions ARC’s latest land purchase

Mayor Penny Webster says she is appalled by the Auckland Regional Council’s announcement today of its $15 million purchase of land on the Mahurangi Coast in the Rodney District.

“I am concerned that the ARC has gone ahead with this Te Muri purchase when it was supposed to be engaged with RDC, DoC and Te Uri o Hau to see what could be done about settling the Te Arai issue. “

Mrs Webster believes the ARC should have given serious consideration to purchasing the Te Aria land if it was looking at adding to its regional park holdings.

“Instead, when we are supposed to be negotiating a fair outcome on Te Aria and for the Te Uri o Hau hapu, the ARC is spending $15 million buying its fourth regional park in a 30 km radius.”

Penny Webster says it also makes it hard to fathom ARC’s claims that a lack of finances is the reason it has not developed proper public access to its Te Rau Puriri regional park at South Head.

“There is a huge issue around access to the Kaipara Harbour and the re-siting of paper roads,” she added.

“We’ve been continually told there is no money to do anything and here is the ARC buying another park, which will mean another 10 years before the people in the West get decent access to Te Rau Puriri.”

Mayor Webster said she was not against the idea of buying land for regional parks, but believed there needed to be clear transparency and proper process when spending large amounts of ratepayer money on such purchases.

“One has to really question how the ARC has been allowed to make this kind of purchase within a month of it going out of existence and the new Auckland Council coming into being.”

ENDS

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