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Council asks Cabinet to protect waterfront land

Council asks Cabinet to protect prime waterfront land
March 18, 2004

The North Shore City Council is asking the Government to buy the private sector's 20 per cent stake in Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) and restore prime waterfront land to full public guardianship.

The call came at a meeting of the council's strategy and finance committee which debated the future of the key waterfront land and marinas presently owned by POAL on behalf of Aucklanders.

Committee chairperson, Tony Holman, has written to the Minister of Local Government, Chris Carter, asking him to raise the issue at the Cabinet table and find a way to buy out private shareholders.

"We want to see this strategic asset restored to full public ownership for the benefit of the Auckland region," Councillor Holman says.

Last month, the North Shore City Council asked the Government to pave the way for POAL to become a fully publicly-owned organisation and protect the assets of Infrastructure Auckland.

It was last year that the North Shore City Council first raised alarm bells over the future of Westhaven Marina which had been put up for sale by international tender by POAL. The council was concerned that the proposed sale could lead to more intensive residential development or, worse still, end up in foreign ownership.

"Westhaven Marina was created by the old Auckland Harbour Board for the people of this region. It's a community asset and should remain so.

"Our residents have given us the clear message that they want this land protected in public ownership. We owe it to them and future generations to work with the region's other councils to halt a sell-off," Councillor Holman said at the time.

"Now's the time for the Government to do its bit to safeguard this icon of the Waitemata Harbour.

"It's over to the Government to find a way," he says.

(ends)


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