Statement from NZ First
The planned closure of the i-Site Visitor Centre in Takapuna is the latest backward step taken by the Auckland Council in regards to the North Shore, says Andrew Williams, NZ First MP and former North Shore Mayor.
“What the world class city of Auckland needs is a world class visitor information network. The proposed closure of five i-Sites, including Takapuna, brings us no closer to achieving that goal” says Mr Williams.
“Takapuna is in the middle of a much needed transformation, which was set in motion by the former North Shore City Council. The Visitor Centre was an integral part of that rejuvenation of Takapuna.”
“We had specifically moved the I-Site office into new improved premises across the street in Hurstmere Road, demolishing their old building to make way for the re-development of Hurstmere Green. Other plans included the National Ocean Water Sports Centre, and the re-alignment of The Strand to open the shopping area up to the sea.” says Mr Williams.
“That initiative was seeing Takapuna greatly increase its profile with major events such as triathlons, cycling, ocean swim series, kayaking, and sailing regattas. The Visitor Centre was part of this overall promotion of Takapuna and the North Shore as a visitor and tourist destination.” says the former mayor.
“Sadly, the ‘CBD centrists’ at Auckland Council and their tourism entity ATEED have very little regard for the future of Takapuna and the Shore, as evidenced by this closure of the Takapuna Visitor Centre.”
“I was at Auckland International Airport recently and was stunned to find not a single Auckland Council information brochure for the North Shore. The council agencies had produced masses of brochures for Central, West, and East Auckland, but the Shore was notably absent. The staff did not know why there weren’t any brochures for the Shore.
“This is yet another black mark against the ‘super city’ “, says NZ First Local Government spokesperson Andrew Williams.