In Auckland it’s the City Rail Link (CRL) that’s bankrupting the city; on Waiheke it is the Waiheke Local Board’s school pool project. The parallels are disturbing.
If you’re wondering why your rates and council debt are rising so fast you need look no further than the ‘Think Big’ project of Auckland, the ill-fated City Rail Link (CRL). Despite the government saying it won’t back the project until 2020 and despite rail patronage figures continuing to disappoint, the mayor is pressing ahead with spending for the project says the Herald.
$35m spent on properties as rail project gathers speed
A note of caution has been sounded by some Councillors
Auckland councillor Dick Quax said it was wrong that properties were being bought before funding from the Government had been secured.
The only reason Len wants construction to start in 2016 is because he thinks it will save his hide. Unless he makes a start he will not have delivered on any of the promises he made to the electorate when he entered office in 2010 so for him the stakes are high. The ratepayers, don’t matter a toss. All is vanity.
Will the Waiheke Local Board be able to deliver on its pre-election pool promises? The Mayor has said there will be no more money for community pools so the Board realises it has to ‘go it alone’ to make a school pool happen. It has stolen money from some community projects and is busy sucking it out of others to fund its one and only project.
It must therefore be galling that the pool can’t start until Ministry of Education plans for the re-build of the schools have been both finalised and funding found. Once these are in place contracts have to be let, and building commence. This could take a while.
Before either project has even got under way the cost blow out is escalating. The City Rail Loop is projected to cost much more than the current figure of nearly $3 billion and likewise the school pool project will cost way beyond the $1 million dollars of Waiheke ratepayers money already accumulated. Both the Mayor and Walden can do nothing but wait on the government.
Meanwhile rates rise and debt rises. After six year’s of a Brown mayoralty and three years of a Walden dictatorship the only achievement is likely to be a bankrupt city and a bankrupt Waiheke.