Auckland Council voted yesterday to sell seven of its sites, including the Orewa Service Centre in Centreway Road.
The process has moved exceptionally fast, after it was first revealed in Hibiscus Matters’ March 1 edition – at that time it was described by Council staff as “still at the investigation stage”.
However, the matter went before the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board that same month and despite the members’ strong opposition on behalf of the community, the sale was approved by Council at the Finance and Performance Committee meeting on May 15.
The vote regarding the sale of seven properties was passed 13 to four, with both local councillors, John Watson and Wayne Walker, voting against the sale.
Cr Watson is angry that the local board’s views, presented in person to Council by members Julia Parfitt, Caitlin Watson and Chris Bettaney, were ignored.
“They made an impassioned plea for public consultation and the need to win the trust of the community they represent,” he says.
Crs Walker and Watson’s suggested amendment that the process should go out for consultation and look at all options – including a partial sell down of the land but retaining the main civic centre, did not succeed.
“Increasingly we are witnessing a bureaucratic determination to sidestep public consultation,” Cr Watson says.
The sale will include the whole property at 50 Centreway Road – the gardens, a new reception centre built in Rodney District Council days and the large Pacific and Tasman buildings, the latter built at a cost of over $20 million just before the start of the Super City.
The 1.9ha site is zoned Mixed Use and is valued at nearly $29 million.