Cllr Christine Fletcher describes the new offices as “very corporate and a bit like a fancy cruise ship except we don't go anywhere. Good for management but not Councillors.”
Yes, good for management but not for democracy and that sums up the folly that is Auckland Council. Big noting on projects in the city centre that suit the staff while the smaller town centres are starved of cash.
This is set to get worse as the Herald reveals today.
Private and public projects on Auckland's drawing board have cracked the $10 billion mark. Auckland Council's City Centre Integration team has just released a map showing the huge public and private investment planned for the next decade.
But Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer said the CBD obsession was to the detriment of Auckland's 100 villages and town centres, now falling into disrepair.
Only about 12 per cent of Aucklanders worked in the CBD yet the small area was where most of the money was being sunk, particularly with the $2.5 billion City Rail Link.
"Instead of cutting funding to community projects, town centres, library hours and parks maintenance, I'd rather see the knife wielded at the CCOs and the CBD, that's where there's still plenty of fat to be found," he said.
"The public were promised that any money raised by an interim transport targeted rate, tolling or a fuel tax would be going towards providing essential intergenerational infrastructure projects that would help drive Auckland's economic growth.
"Now we learn that tolls will fund things like beautifying and pedestrianising Quay St and even the Quay St seawall upgrade. That will not impress Auckland drivers when the mayor has promised that extra and alternative revenue raised will go towards more roads and better public transport," Brewer said.
Retrofitting the city centre to suit the highly paid, but frankly dumb, city planners who can afford to live there will bankrupt us all. The figures to pay for the expansion of this folly are staggering and way in excess of the income stream from ratepayers. Folly indeed.