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Auckland City secures Westhaven

Auckland City secures Westhaven

It is great news that Auckland City looks set to secure Westhaven and Hobson West marinas in public ownership for not a dollar more than what the council was prepared to pay for in its original bid. This follows ongoing discussions I have had with the Prime Minister and Trevor Mallard over the past three weeks,” Auckland City Mayor, Hon John Banks said today.

“Auckland City’s only opportunity of publicly owning Westhaven was to participate in the commercial tender process. However Auckland City was never in a position as a responsible local authority to put in a ‘trophy’ bid.

“Subsequently, it is our belief that we were never going to be a preferred bidder. I am therefore grateful that the Government has come to the party with a deal to buy the marina and then on-sell it to the city to retain as a gateway public asset.

“Like Auckland City, the Clark Government has always feared Westhaven being sold offshore. However, let’s not forget that the ratepayers of Auckland will stump up approximately $46 million.”

Mr Banks said it is right for the Government to financially help the council over the finishing line because Westhaven is a national asset for the benefit of all, not just Auckland City ratepayers.

“Auckland City is disappointed that other local authorities in Greater Auckland have not put forward a dollar to retaining Westhaven in public hands.

“Auckland City’s interest in public ownership is bigger than Westhaven. The city has a one-off opportunity to make the most of this harbour edge real estate. We are interested in other Ports of Auckland waterfront properties from Queens Wharf, including Princes Wharf and the Tank Farm.

“Publicly owning Westhaven and other waterfront land will ensure the residents of Auckland will have complete control over what is and what is not developed on the City of Sails’ gilt-edge.

“Only public ownership can ensure sound and sensible development occurs, the character of the waterfront is not compromised, and the city gets exactly what it wants from Queens Wharf to the Harbour Bridge.

“Today is a big step forward in the history of our magnificent waterfront. It is a win win. You only get one shot at retaining public open space and today, subject to public consultation, we look set to achieve just that,” Mr Banks said.

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