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ARC supports public ownership of marinas

ARC supports public ownership of marinas

The Auckland Regional Council welcomes the announcements this week that the Government has negotiated an agreement with Ports of Auckland Limited and Auckland City Council to ensure public ownership of Westhaven and Hobson West marinas.

"The waterfront is a significant regional asset that is integral to the region's economy, culture and environment," says Ian Bradley, chair of the ARC's Strategic Policy Committee.

"As representatives of the wider regional community, the ARC has a responsibility to ensure that ongoing management of the waterfront area reflects that this is an asset that benefits all Aucklanders," says Cr Bradley.

The ARC's view that a holistic approach to the future of the waterfront area is important reflects the wide range of responsibilities and interests held by the Council. It also takes into consideration that through the transport funding package announced by the Government in December 2003, the ARC will soon be an 80% shareholder of Ports of Auckland Limited. On 1 July, Infrastructure Auckland’s assets will be transferred to Auckland Regional Holdings, a new entity to be established under the ARC.

"As a future shareholder, and as a regional organisation that must focus on achieving community outcomes, the ARC must balance a range of public interests," says Cr Bradley.

"Although public access to the waters edge around Westhaven Marina is protected regardless of who actually owns the marina, we are delighted that the Government is the successful bidder in the tender process for Westhaven and has registered an option to buy Hobson West,” he says.

The ARC has this week made the first steps towards establishing a partnership with Auckland City Council, Ports of Auckland Limited, and other major waterfront landowners to develop a joint vision for the future development and ownership of the wider waterfront area between Queens Wharf and Harbour Bridge Park.

“It is important that we work together to ensure that that the interests of the regional community are considered as the future of the waterfront area is determined,” says Cr Bradley.

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