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Testing Station Sale On Hold

From the Western Front: by Liz Nevill


A change of heart by some Waitakere City Councillors could see plans to sell off the Waitakere Testing Station back on the drawing board for further scrutiny.

Last week councillors, with the exception of Independent Cr Penny Hulse, voted in favour of Waitakere Properties Ltd being given the go ahead to negotiate the sale of the Station and surrounding land to an unnamed buyer for $2.1m.

This week a notice of motion to rescind this decision was lodged by Councillor Gordon Sunde on behalf of himself and four other councillors.

Cr Sunde says confusion about the level of autonomy the vote vested in Waitakere Properties to close the sale without final ratification from the council was a major reason to call a halt to sale proceedings.

The five councillors ask: what is the future fate of the Testing Station business, how much land is included in the sale, where will the proceeds of any successful sale be allocated and is the $2.1m asking price enough for the city owned asset.

Cr Sunde says councillors need better briefing on the terms and conditions of the proposed sale and more time should be allocated for public involvement in discussions.

The motion to halt the sale will be voted on at the next full meeting of the council.
Until then no further action can be taken by Waitakere Properties Ltd toward closing the sale.

Meanwhile public opposition to the sale of the Testing Station is intensifying. A previous 6,000 name petition calling for the plan to be scrapped has been reactivated.
Friday at 2.30pm Citizens against Privatisation plan a picket against the sale outside the Testing Station.


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