The Rodney Local Board will shed few tears when it is forced to vacate its offices and meeting rooms in Orewa.
The Auckland Council service centre at 50 Centreway Road with a capital value of $28.8 million, will be sold by Council to make more efficient use of its office space.
Board chair Beth Houlbrooke says the size of the building far exceeds the Board’s requirements.
“We have been rattling around in that building as it is. Now that everything has gone digital we don’t need the storage space, we don’t need the large meeting rooms,” she says.
Ms Houlbrooke says the Orewa location is unsuitable anyway, as it is located outside the Board’s jurisdiction. What was required was a “shop-front” presence within Rodney.
“At the moment, there is no kind of shop-front presence for the Board anywhere in Rodney. People don’t know who we are or what we do.”
Ms Houlbrooke speculates that such a presence might be located in Warkworth and Kumeu, possibly attached to an existing service centre or library or other Council premises.
Board meetings could oscillate between the two locations.
Requirements would be modest, perhaps just a meeting room that was Skype-enabled. She says the Board did have access to a tiny meeting room at the Council Service Centre in Warkworth, but it is frustrating to use as there was no wi-fi connection.
“If I meet someone down there and we want to look at their rates bill online, we can’t do it,” she says.
Ms Houlbrooke says the Board had yet to identify suitable buildings in Warkworth or Kumeu that the it could occupy, but anticipates it will be at least a year before they would be required to vacate Centreway Road.