Enter Ports of Auckland (PoA). PoA is wholly owned by Auckland Council. It provides money in the form of dividends to Council coffers and occupies a significant chunk of Auckland’s waterfront. It wants to extend its operations by reclaiming land between two wharves. The wharf extension promises greater profitability and higher dividends to Auckland Council.
It is also close to Britomart, the construction site of the first phase of the CRL. Britomart is also the site of a new $550 million office block. This was public land said to be worth $60 million but sold off cheaply for only $27 million. Councillor John Watson said ‘the public had not been consulted or had a say about the sale’.
Meanwhile Auckland Transport have paid Precinct Properties the developers of the skyscraper ‘$9 million compensation for the CRL tunnels' volume and a further $10.7 million for the additional costs of the developer straddling the land with its piles for the enormous tower.’ In other words the developer has been able to get away with paying virtually nothing for public land on which to build its skyscraper.
Both the CRL and the office block need a place to tip their spoil. It has been suggested that the spoil from these two projects will be tipped into Auckland harbour as part of the land reclamation for PoA.
Somewhere there is a sort of plan behind all this shenanigans but between CCOs (Council Controlled Organisations) acting as entities outside the oversight of Auckland’s elected representatives, business confidentiality and Mayoral vanity the ratepayer is left out in the cold. Whaleoil makes this point in a cutting blog yesterday.
Nobody believes Len Brown for a second that he and his Council have been powerless to stop the ports from obtaining a Resource Consent to extend wharves.
Auckland mayor Len Brown said he is hoping discussions with the Ports of Auckland will result in the port “cooling their heels” on the construction of two massive wharf extensions, due to begin next month.
Mr Brown told TV3’s The Nation today that a study on the economic, environmental and social impact of the port on wider Auckland has begun.
Len must be dumb as a bag of hammers if he thinks the public can’t keep track of his lies.
He forgets what he has said on day one by day five leading to conflicting statements of position.
And his Council aren’t much better.
Aucklanders deserve much more than this.
We deserve public officials and politicians who can operate within the rule of law whilst being open, honest and transparent. These are the distinct traits that underline the characteristics of a society free from corruption.
Brown was Dead on Arrival when he became Mayor: dead to the needs of ratepayers, dead to democracy, dead to accountability. The ratepayers, the poor idiots providing the money, have been treated with contempt. This is not good for democracy. It is good for corruption.