Sunday, 6 January 2008

Auckland City spends wisely!

That got your attention - but of course not true. Auckland City Council added to their property portfolio last year, purchasing multi-million-dollar properties at inflated prices. One that got my blood boiling for it's total stupidity, was the purchase of the SuperLiquor site on the corner of Ponsonby Road & O'Neill Street, for a staggering $7 million.

Retail? I hear you ask. However, not for retail, but to be demo'ed and turned into a park! The most ridiculous place for a public park, it will be small, which in itself isn't a problem (small parks can be charming) but with roads on two sides (one being a main road) it will be bloody awful place to sit. It will be empty 99% of the time, and anyway within 1km of this site there are 8 reserves and 16 within 2kms.

Apparently, they had to make a purchase to justify all the reserve contributions they have been taking over the years. Why didn't they just give the money back to the developers? At least most developers wouldn't be dumb enough to pay $7m for that property. At a guess, that must be twice the government valuation.

For $7 million I would have thought they could have brought at least 6 small parks around Ponsonby & Grey Lynn. But since I can't see a need for more parks they, shouldn't have levied the Reserve Contribution in the first place.

Whoever made this decision should be fired for total incompetence, they would have been in the private sector. A developer would be bankrupt after making decisions like this - but no, not the council. Let's hope those responsible were voted out in the last local election - our only revenge after all - hollow at that.

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