The sale of 23 Auckland Council-owned properties on Whangaparāoa and Brightside Roads is still on hold, as its property arm, Panuku Development, continues trying to identify previous owners of the sites.
The properties, at 472-502 Whangaparāoa Road and 4-6 Brightside Road in Stanmore Bay, were identified as “surplus” and therefore suitable for disposal by Council two years ago – a fact made public by Hibiscus Matters.
Final approval for the sale took almost a year to go through Council, due to objections by Crs Wayne Walker and John Watson as well as the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board.
As a result of this opposition, a portion of 14 of theproperties was retained to make widening and other road improvements possible.
The sites were originally purchased under the Public Works Act for safety work, including road widening, by the former Rodney District Council, between 1997 and 2000. Because the land was not used for this purpose, before the properties can be put on the market, Panuku must try to locate the former owners (or their successors) and offer them the chance to buy the land back, at market value. Four owners waived the offer back obligation, owners of 10 of the sites have been contacted, and owners are still sought for a further nine.
A Panuku spokesperson says that given the number of years since the properties were originally obtained, some of these parties are proving challenging to locate.
That work is ongoing.
“Eke Panuku has a duty to ensure that Council meets its statutory obligations under the Public Works Act 1981, where land has been declared surplus to requirements, as is the case here. Generally, these parties are former owners or their eligible successors,” the spokesperson says.
“Once we are satisfied that we have done everything possible to complete the statutory obligations to offer back, the next phases of the disposal programme will be undertaken.”
The properties are zoned Residential Single House, but because most are adjoining, local board members and Councillors Wayne Walker and John Watson fear they could be amalgamated by a developer, impacting a difficult stretch of road.