Press Release – Auckland Council
Aucklanders will soon get the chance to have their say on whether proceeds of a land sale should be used for stage two of Manukau’s TelstraClear Pacific events centre.
The council’s Strategy and Finance Committee yesterday agreed to a proposal by Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) to sell a piece of land adjacent to the facility, which is at Great South Road in Manukau.
RFA owns the land and suggested that a portion of the proceeds be given to the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust to fund stage two of the project, known as Wero.
The Counties Manukau Pacific Trust’s proposal for Wero includes an artificial white water course, cultural visitor attraction, gallery and studio space for artists in residence and a permanent Body Odyssey exhibition.
The council resolved that Auckland Council Property Ltd be engaged to carry out the sale and that RFA hold the proceeds until the outcome of public consultation is known.
While RFA, as the owner, has the right to sell the land without council approval, the council has to make the decision on how the proceeds of that sale will be used.
“Our policy is not to tag proceeds from land sales for specific projects and we also have a target in our Long-term Plan for asset sales, including non-strategic land,” says committee chair Penny Webster.
“The significance of this decision, however, is that it triggers a consultation process as part of the draft Annual Plan.”
Councillor Webster adds that yesterday’s decision is not council’s endorsement of stage two of the project.
“This is purely about the sale of land and how the proceeds will be used, and now we want to hear from the public.”
Consultation on the draft Annual Plan 2013/2014 will take place 24 January to 22 February 2013.
Statement from Councillor Dick Quax
Thank you to all those who responded to my e mail from earlier in the week about the sale of land to fund white water rafting at the Pacific Events Centre. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who took the time to let me know their views on this matter.
Of the hundreds of messages I received not one was in favour of the proposal to sell ratepayer owned land and give the proceeds to the Trust that runs the PEC. Unfortunately the vote was lost 11-9 and the land will be sold and subject to consultation, proceeds will go to the Trust for white water rafting.
The most galling aspect of this farce was that it was the unelected members of the Independent Maori Statutory Board who rarely attend the Strategy and Finance Committee which pushed the vote in favour of the sale.