It was left to Councillor George Wood to sum up the current position on social media.
Currently the costs around the SkyPath project are hidden behind confidentiality. Auckland Council officers are now considering what they can release. Until a decision is made on what can be released I am not at liberty to discuss the financials of the project. Surely any agreement which involves tens of millions of dollars needs to be out in the open for public scrutiny.
Neither Auckland Transport nor New Zealand Transport Agency has taken up the SkyPath idea. Auckland Transport looked at the concept and didn’t take it further. NZTA have seen fit to build cycleway facilities in other parts of Auckland (Greenhithe Bridge, North Western cycleway, SeaPath, Spaghetti Junction and now Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive.) They won't engage with SkyPath.
Thus far, it has been mooted as a public-private partnership (PPP) with Auckland Council, when in fact any such PPP should be between the sponsoring trust and NZTA. Auckland Council has no ownership or operational responsibility for the Harbour Bridge, and it has no legal or moral right to commit ratepayer funds to the project. The full financials have never been revealed to the public so people have no idea what they could be liable for in the area of costs.
Finally until a business case is released, following the technical analysis, there is no certainty what loadings NZTA will allow on their bridge.
Auckland Harbour Bridge's proposed SkyPath set for Environment Court
The brakes are on again for Auckland's controversial Harbour Bridge SkyPath cycle and pedestrian crossing.
Mediation talks on the controversial $33 million proposed project have failed.
SkyPath Trust and six opposing residents groups couldn't reach agreement leaving it up to the Environment Court to decide if the project proceeds.
Sources on both sides said consensus couldn't be reached on design and planning factors affecting traffic, parking and resident privacy.
It's likely Environment Court chief judge Laurie Newhook will now decide SkyPath's fate in court hearings.
Rates campaigner David Thornton attacked secrecy around Council's involvement in the public-private SkyPath project saying elected councillors "appear to have been relatively starved of financial information, despite huge sums being spent or promised so far".
"It seems ratepayers are having their money spent at the whim of a council which is not in control of its spending decisions," Thornton said.
Thornton believes SkyPath's projected cost has increased.
"I'm suspicious about what's in that report, we know the last time [council] came up with a price it was $33 million and at that stage there was no business case, a business case may come up with the need to spend more money."
Skypath another Heart of the City debacle in the making?